Is Alternative Rite of Passage the Key to Abandonment of Female Genital Cutting? A case study of the Samburu of Kenya
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While Female Genital Cutting (FGC) has been condemned worldwide and seen as a violation of women’s right, individuals in communities that still practice the rite claim that it is an integral and respectable component of their culture. Up to date, there have been numerous NGO- and government-led grassroots programs geared towards eradication of FGC. Yet, there remains a wide gap in the literature evaluating the impact of such anti-FGC interventions (WHO, 2011). This dearth of information poses a significant threat to the project of FGC abandonment as policy-makers are unable to assess which interventions have worked and why, and which ones are failing, and why. This study, which focuses on Female Genital Cutting among the Samburu of Kenya, seeks to begin bridging this knowledge gap by evaluating the Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) intervention program. For close to a decade now, Amref Health Africa, an international NGO based in thirty African countries, has been implementing the Alternative Rite of Passage in the Samburu community. A key objective of this study is to conceptualize the ways in which stories and understandings of Female Genital Cutting in Samburu have changed (if at all), in light of Amref’s Alternative Rite of Passage program. Using qualitative data collected through Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant in-depth interviews, this study attempts to piece together a complex puzzle that brings together history, politics, economics, customs, and beliefs. Analysis of data will reveal present community attitudes towards female circumcision and the ARP program. Furthermore, the complex role of the NGO in the battle against FGC will be addressed leading to a discussion around the suitability and sustainability of alternative rites of passage in this community.
DepartmentGlobal Health Institute
SubjectFemale Genital Cutting (FGC)
Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP)
Amref Health Africa
CitationMepukori, Nash (2016). Is Alternative Rite of Passage the Key to Abandonment of Female Genital Cutting? A case study of the Samburu of Kenya. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11858.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers