Mothers' perspectives of female genital mutilation among the Maasai community in Kenya

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Bachelor's Thesis
Title Mothers' perspectives of female genital mutilation among the Maasai community in Kenya
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
The purpose of this study was to find out mothers perspectives on female genital mutilation (FGM) among the Maasai community in Kenya. The aim of the study can be used in utilizing the research result when planning education programs in preventing female genital mutilation. The research was carried out in co-operation with a local village which is situated in South-West Kenya, and West from Nairobi, the Kenyan capital city. Qualitative method was used to implement this study. Data was collected by interviewing four mother´s aged between 20-35 years of age, who had young daughters. The interviews were conducted between December 2010 to February 2011. The data collected was analysed by using content analysis. The results of this study revealed that the mothers interviewed have good knowledge about the effects of female genital mutilation in general and the risks involved with its practice, although afraid of losing their culture. They were also aware of the long term and short term effects to their daughters and the unborn child, which could be as serious as leading to permanent disabilities and death. The mothers interviewed had knowledge on the signs to look for after FGM infection and to determine if medical treatment was required instead of depending on natural treatment only. Most mothers admitted use of natural treatment as well as modern medicine and other treatment methods. They acknowledged other recommended alternatives to stop female genital mutilation, such as girl child education since their daughters had more knowledge and facts to prove why female genital mutilation was harmful to them. Additionally the study results indicated the willingness of the participants to work closely with health professionals who have better knowledge about FGM and its effects. They are also aware that FGM is illegal in Kenya and if they are caught, they are liable to prosecution. Further research is recommended to focus on father’s opinion. The study could also provide more knowledge to the government and policy makers in raising awareness especially to mothers who have different opinions about female genital mutilation.

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