Some girls among the Pokot community in western Kenya are bravely defying what is considered cultural and traditional by refusing to be circumcised. More and more mothers, fathers and the women whose job is to do the cutting are beginning to support these girls’ right to bodily integrity.
Akech B. loved to study and dreamed of becoming a nurse. But when she was 14, her uncle who was raising her forced her to leave school to marry a man Akech described as old and gray-haired. The man paid 75 cows as dowry for Akech. He was already married to another woman with whom he had several children.
When she was nine years old, Jane Meriwas, a Samburu from the Kipsing Plains in Kenya’s Rift Valley region, was considered of no use by her father. After all, nine of his goats had been eaten by hyenas under her watch.