100 Maasai women’s perspectives on the impact of female genital cutting on social and economic wellbeing
Interviews with 100 Maasai women in Narok District, Kenya, explored FGC, early marriage, and financial autonomy, among other topics. Respondents drew a telling picture of the significant social value that FGC holds for the Maasai communities in this study, namely, that FGC is an initiation ceremony that turns children into adults, and is an eligibility requirement for marriage and childbearing. Not only does circumcision create multiple opportunities for increased social status, but it also represents increases in economic security through its power to bring about marriage and reproduction. The overall perspectives of the women on the FGC procedure itself showed most (81 of the 97 circumcised women interviewed) were positive about their experiences, in contrast to only 13 reported negative experiences. 57 of the 100 women state that they would not circumcise their daughters, indicative of a future decrease in FGC occurrences in the rural Maasai population in the Rift Valley, despite the current population reporting far more circumcisions per capita than the national average.
Vandekemp-McLellan, Rebecca. 2020. "100 Maasai women’s perspectives on the impact of female genital cutting on social and economic wellbeing." Bridges: An Undergraduate Journal of Contemporary Connections 4, (1). https://scholars.wlu.ca/bridges_contemporary_connections/vol4/iss1/1
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