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

Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018
Kevin Clarke tells us about his reporting from Iraq.
Olga SeguraOctober 19, 2018