How Restoring the Environment Can Help End Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya

The controversial practice is banned in the East African country, but women in remote areas are still forced to follow the custom.
Dec 17, 2014·
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

Women of the nomadic Samburu tribe not only take on child care roles, but are also responsible for the hard manual labor of constructing the homes in the village—yet these women have little say over their own bodies.

Governed by a small group of elders, men make all the decisions including continuing the tradition of female circumcision. TakePart World producer Alex Stapleton meets with junior elder, Alex Galhaile, who is part of the younger generation hoping to end these harmful practices.

Along with women's rights issues, the area is also suffering from the effects of climate change and the subsequent drought. To help restore pastoral lands, Galhaile works with the West Gate Community Conservancy and hires women to clear land and harvest acacia trees. The Samburu women find power and independence from employment, which can lead to them having more say in their own health and well-being.

Galhaile says it best: "Empowering women is empowering the whole Samburu society."