NAIROBI, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Kenya marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Wednesday with senior officials reaffirming commitment to eradicate the vice that poses grave danger to health of women and girls.
Margaret Kobia, cabinet secretary for youth and gender affairs said the government has developed a vibrant legislative framework that will be complemented by grassroots campaigns to end female cut by 2030.
"Kenya has a legal framework and policies geared towards protecting women and girls from genital mutilation and other harmful practices," said Kobia in a statement issued to mark the day.
"We are engaging communities that practice female genital cut to encourage them to discard a retrogressive practice that violates integrity and health of women," she during the celebrations in Narok town, about 120 km northwest of Nairobi.
Kobia said that female genital mutilation has worsened gender inequality, poverty and illiteracy while undermining efforts to reduce maternal deaths in the country.
"This calls for urgent and concerted efforts that will lead to eradication of female genital cut in Kenya within one generation," said Kobia.
Kenya is signatory to global treaties on eradicating female genital cut that is considered a rite of passage for adolescent girls in some farming and nomadic communities.
The government has invested in grassroots based interventions like alternative rites of passage and public awareness targeting opinion shapers to help end the archaic practice.
Kobia said that Kenya has made strides in efforts to eradicate female cut thanks to political goodwill and involvement of cultural leaders to stigmatize the harmful practice.
According to the official, female genital mutilation among women aged 15 to 49 years declined from 38 percent in 1999 to 21 percent in 2014.
Agnes Pareiyo, chairperson of anti-female genital mutilation board said eradication of the vice is closely linked to attainment of sustainable development goals on education, health and equality.