Umoja Uaso breaks the rules in many ways – they do not rely on men, they are the sole providers for their families, their priorities are on educating all of their children – girls, you’re in – and they are refusing to perform female genital mutilation (FGM) on their daughters. This last act of revolution is even more impacting once you’ve heard Rebeeca,Umoja’s chief, describe the violence of FGM. This coming-of-age ritual in African societies is a controversial topic- unquestionably a human rights violation! activists shout; you are trying to kill our culture! tribal leaders and many mothers bite back.
It is, certainly, life-changing; not just once, but over and over the effects of this ceremony will influence the course of a woman’s life. All of the women living at Umoja have gone through FGM, and all of them are refusing to do it to their girls. No one will marry your daughters, the local Samburu women warn them. But Umoja mothers are unwavering. Their daughters will live different lives, unfettered by traditions that have previously kept women on the edges of possibility. The following interview with Rebecca demonstrates Umoja’s commitment to tradition that honors, without taking away from, a girl’s future.
Rebecca Lolosoli discusses FGM and her village’s refusal of the ritual
Posted By Kate Cummings
Posted Jul 19th, 2009