FGM, an act of brutality
Posted December 3, 2014on:
(Pokot girls run from their hut and make their way to a place where they will take off their clothes and wash during their circumcision ceremony)
(A Pokot woman holds a razor blade after performing a circumcision on four girls. Practitioners use anything from broken glass to scissors)
Even though the brutal practice of FGM is now illegal in the country in many African tribes, traditions are more important than laws and circumcision is considered a rite of passage that marks their transition into womanhood so they can marry.
Reuter’s photographer Siegfried Modola captured the ceremony in rural Kenya for four teenage girls of the Pokot tribe, in Baringo County.
Draped in animal skin and covered in white paint, the girls squat over large stones in the remote village after being circumcised – a life-threatening custom banned in the country three years ago.
More than a quarter of Kenyan women have undergone the ordeal, despite government efforts to end the practice in the East African country.
‘It’s a tradition that has been happening forever,’ the father of one of the girls, who asked not to be named fearing reprisal from the authorities, told Reuters from the isolated Pokot settlement some 80km from the town of Marigat.
‘The girls are circumcised to get married. It’s a girl’s transition into womanhood,’ he said.
(Naked: Draped in animal skins, the Pokot girls sit naked on rocks before village elders perform the ritual)