Among the Maasai tribespeople living in Kajiado, Kenya, 78% of all girls undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) — a harmful practice that involves either the partial or total removal of external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs, for non-medical reasons. FGM typically takes place between infancy and the age of 15 and can result in serious, life-long health consequences such as severe bleeding, life-threatening infection, complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
Today, more than 200 million women and girls living around the world have undergone this brutal practice. FGM is now classified as a human rights violation. FGM, however, is just one way gender injustice manifests itself in Kajiado. Only 10% of young girls attend secondary school due to early teenage marriage and/or unexpected pregnancies. In a community that values men as warriors and chiefs, girls and women are given little to no opportunity to break out of the age-old mold and shape their own futures.
Kajiado Girls is the story the AIC Kajiado Girls School, and their special program… the “Bride Rescue Program” that currently has about 100 students in attendance. This special program was designed in 1986 to rescue young girls from harmful cultural practices such as FGM and early marriage.