Leadership and Decision-making on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting among the Maasai in Kajiado

Explorative Qualitative Research Report – February 2018


Tabither Gitau , Lincie Kusters , Wilson Simel Rianto , Diana Naleke Kaapei , Anke van der Kwaak

Child marriage, teenage pregnancy and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) are manifestations of deeply rooted gender inequality and social norms, poverty and limited economic perspectives. The factors that hold both FGM/C and child marriage in place are the consolidation of family interests of maintaining honour, enhancing fidelity within marriage and preserving virginity before marriage, the social integration of the girl and family, and financial security in situations of poverty (Boyden et al 2012). Child marriage, teenage pregnancy and FGM/C are interrelated issues that involve high health risks and human rights violations of adolescent girls, and impede socio-economic development in a great number of low- and middle-income countries.

The Yes I Do programme aims to contribute to a world in which adolescent girls can decide if, when and with whom to marry and have children, and are protected from FGM/C. This requires intervention strategies that address child marriage, teenage pregnancy and FGM/C in a combined
and holistic manner in Ethiopia, Kenya and Indonesia, and child marriage and teenage pregnancy in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Pakistan.