Alternative to Female Circumcision

A Catholic diocese in Kenya is giving girls a chance to make the transition to adulthood without participating in the traditional tribal rite of female circumcision, sometimes referred to as genital mutilation, a practice that carries the risk of disease and death. Workers in the Diocese of Meru have developed a ritual called “An Alternative Rite of Passage,” which formally marks a girl’s passage into adolescence by including some of the elements from the traditional rite. In other areas of Kenya, programs to stop the circumcisions have not succeeded, so Meru diocesan officials decided to begin slowly. Joseph MEruaki MUthari and Martin Koome, coordinators of the program, said they spoke with community leaders, members of the councils of elders, parents and the girls themselves to make sure that the people knew that the diocese did not wish to condemn the culture but rather to affirm it, without compromising ethical principles or standards of public health.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Often, we have a tendency to privilege emotional moments over the more intellectual ones in our spiritual life.
James Martin, S.J.August 20, 2018
Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash
Most people just don’t know that their pondering about life, about what really matters, is called theology.
Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability.
Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.