Archive for February, 2017

Of Moi’s Free Milk and UhuRuto’s Free Maternity

February 10, 2017

I believe that the whole of my life I have directly benefited from only two governments: Moi and Uhuru Kenyatta’s, governments. Incidentally, I loved, campaigned and defended President Kibaki’s government the most in all the four governments.

I still consider the Kibaki government the most professional and economical development minded government Kenya have had so far. Of course much of the gains were undone following the 07/08 PEV. I personally gained Zilch, but at least the Kibaki government laid a firm economic foundation.

Moi’s government, the worst regime ever to grace the Kenyan politics, gave me free MILK¬† during my primary school years. Considering that the government had been in power for close to three decades, the value of that milk was less than the 50 bob given to the youth to cause mayhem in the guise of campaigning¬† for politicians.

My first-born daughter was born on 30th December 2015 at Kenyatta National Hospital through Cesarean section . The bill amounted to ksh.39, 495. Thanks to Uhuruto’s free maternity policy, I didn’t pay a SINGLE PENNY! It might not be much, but considering the raw deal I have suffered in all them other governments, it was virtually a wind fall.

Female Genital Mutilation: who Is To Blame? How do we Stop FGM? #EndFGM

February 6, 2017

Female Genital Mutilation(FGM)is a harmful antiquated cultural practice in some societies involving grievous injuries to the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. traditionally FGM was practiced, and it is still practiced to date in many African and Muslim communities. We still have no clear explanations of the cultural purposes behind the FGM,and the current peddled lies about the FGM preventing promiscuity among women is a sieve: doesn’t hold any water.The fact that the FGM practice has more adverse effects physically and socially is not in doubt. As a human society we are faced with the question of why the practice continues despite the resources, both human and financial thrown at activities meant to stop it. My Position is that we need to interrogate the practice thoroughly and to come get insight concerning the perpetrators responsible for the perpetuation of this heinous act. Only then will be be able to focus and target our interventions to have maximum impact on ending the practice.

From my studies on culture change, I have come to the unfortunate realization that as cultures change, the good and functional parts of traditional cultures are the first ones to quickly be dropped as new ones are adopted. People somehow manage to hang onto the harmful and oppressive relics of cultures. FGM happens to be one of those sticky harmful cultural practices that is unlikely to go away any time soon. FGM has been known to contribute to many deaths of the child, and even the mother during childbirth. FGM is taken by the parents and the girls as a stamp for marriageability, and many girls are carted away to their 50 year old husbands as soon as they heal. Most of these girls are just children whose bodies are yet to mature enough for childbearing and yet most of them are pregnant within the first year of marriage. Needless to say, the mortality rate among this group is high.

From where I sit,it is clear that men would insist on the wives having undergone FGM if they believe it works somehow in their favor. Some nut somewhere came up with the idea that destroying the women sexually would make men dominate the women. In most patriarchal societies,Men are the only human beings allowed to enjoy sex. Women are supposed to be objects for satisfying the male desires. In traditional societies, men were allowed to marry as many women as possible. it was rare for a woman to marry many men, unless we are talking about what Rudyard Kipling called “the World’s oldest profession”. Having many wives exposed the man to the likelihood of not meeting all his wives sexual needs and the possibility of the wives seeking this service in other men. This insecurity must have given many a man sleepless nights. To them the only way to ensure that their wives did not stray even when neglected was to destroy their sexual organs. How the FGM practice was packaged to and sold to women, I am yet to get my mind around, given that it is actually the women who do all the mutilation on the girls. Of course, the practice has been modernized to the extent that it is practiced in hospitals- probably by male doctors. I suspect that originally the women were threatened with death through lightening from angry gods if they did not allow their daughters to undergo the process.Men must have sat down came to the conclusion that to make the practice stick, they should include FGM among the other qualifications such as virginity for marriage.

The perpetrators of FGM are women, supported by a patriarchal system geared towards oppressing the same women. The practice is physically carried out by women of senior ages. The inspection on whether a prospective wife is a virgin and has undergone the cut is done by women.I understand that the inspections for marriage are carried out under adversarial circumstances as the women would most probably be looking for excuses for the girl not to be married into their household. However, it is still done by women.

My contention here is that women bear the greatest responsibility of ending FGM. It can be done. It has to be done. Women, Please stop FGM on our young girls!