Wajir South residents asked to discard cultural practices that harm girls

Wajir South MP Mohamed Adow.

Wajir South MP Mohamed Adow has called on his residents to do away with harmful cultural practices that harm school girls such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Speaking during celebrations over exemplary performance in last year’s KCSE exams at Senior Chief Ogle Girls Secondary School, the former Aljazeera journalist noted that women had made huge steps education-wise, urging society to follow suit and discard cultural practices that posed serious risks to them.

“It’s ironic that our girls have made their mark globally yet we still subject the innocent girl child to live in the past by exposing them to early marriages and GBV,” he said.

Reacting to a recent case where an 18-year-old girl was gang-raped by three goons, the MP declared that anyone attacking women or girls has declared war with him, vowing not to rest until the culprits are arrested and arraigned in Court.

Permanent Secretary (PS) for the State Department for Culture, Arts and Heritage, Umulkheir Bashir, urged women not to accept out-of-court settlements (Maslah) and to speak out whenever their rights are infringed upon.

Wajir-based Human Rights Activist  Khalif Abdi Farah regretted that cases of GBV, FGM, rape, defilement, child marriage and teenage pregnancies were prevalent in the region but most of the cases went unreported leaving the poor innocent girl child high and dry.

He said that infringement of the girl child’s right at such an early age is a double tragedy, not only delaying her development but also increasing the chances of dropping out of school.

The school Principal Abdullah Ahmed said that despite the cultural hiccups and other challenges such as insufficient teachers and insecurity, the girls in last year’s candidate class had made them proud, with 24 of them qualifying to join the university.

Ahmed noted that the government had gifted them Ksh5 million to construct new modern dormitories, which will make the school more conducive for learning and in turn contribute to better performance in forthcoming national examinations.

By Amoto Ndiewo

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