It was held in Nairobi in 2021, organized by Save a Girl Save a Generation. The objective of the conference was to prepare future agents of change in the awareness and eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The six-day conference included workshops for a group of ten women and ten men, aged between 20 and 55 years, from different counties in Kenya, of various ethnicities and religions. The diverse group provided a rich and varied environment in which to work on identifying marginalized communities, gender equality, roles that perpetuate violence against women, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition, the participants discussed consent, respect for boundaries, and the importance of self-love and self-care.


The activities and topics covered during the conference included the creation of a group, in which the focus was on the similarities of the participants rather than their differences. The idea was to create a safe space in which to share experiences and ideas freely and openly, in order to break myths and debunk misconceptions about FGM and what it means to be a “real” man or woman. The group also discussed what they would like to improve about their culture, reflecting together and questioning preconceived ideas.

The conference included a specialist in Islamic law, Sheikh Ibrahim Lethome, who clarified controversial issues arising from misinterpretations of the Quran. The group discussed misconceptions such as the obligation to practice FGM, the obligation to have multiple wives, and the idea that a man can remarry without his first wife’s knowledge. The Sheikh emphasized the importance of revising the Quran in a modern context, and the need to follow the model of the Prophet Muhammad, who never raised his hand to any of his wives.

Participation of authorities and law enforcement

It is important that the authorities participate and are aware of the need to be our allies in order to achieve all possible support and visibility. During these workshops, we had the presence of the representative of the Embassy of Spain in Kenya, Mr. Jaime Fernández-Rúa Mateo (Second Head and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)). With respect to institutions, we also saw a great need to provide training directed towards the police. It is necessary to sensitize this group so that they can receive reports of violations and other types of aggression against women.”


Development of the Sensitization Program with Groups of Women

We have found that these workshops help break certain preconceived ideas that are transmitted from generation to generation, putting women’s integrity at risk. To continue this work, we have created two groups of 20 women each from the Somali and Oromo communities, both of which practice female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kenya. These two groups are part of the new KUELEKEA MABADILIKO program, in which they will participate for the next 5 months, in 10 sessions.

The group is characterized by several factors that must be taken into account when developing and planning the sessions:

  • Participants are between 20 and 50 years old.
  • All are survivors of FGM and many of forced marriage.
  • Most have not received formal education, so we have adapted the sessions to enable their participation.
  • All depend at all levels on their husbands and relatives.
  • They have between 3 and 9 children.
  • All have a great interest in participating in Kuelekea Mabadiliko sessions and have expressed the topics that interest them the most.

The objectives of this program are to:

  • Create support groups among women.
  • Create a safe space to openly discuss their concerns without being judged.
  • Raise awareness and provide education on topics such as gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive education, nutrition, entrepreneurship, and legal issues.
  • Educate and inform about female genital mutilation: the types, consequences, myths, and false beliefs about the subject.
  • Strengthen and train women to recognize their rights and have their own voice in their communities and families.
  • Encourage the abandonment of FGM, obtain a commitment not to perform it on their daughters and relatives, to break the cycle and save the next generation.

In addition to achieving these objectives, these sessions are a great opportunity to listen to the community directly affected by FGM and obtain valuable information about their perception of this practice, their fears, reasons, concerns, and situation in their environment as women, in order to develop programs and activities that meet their expectations and needs, identifying the best solutions that lead to the total abandonment of this practice. At Save a Girl Save a Generation, we firmly believe that change must come from within the communities involved, and we work to ensure that their voice is heard and to provide the necessary tools to jointly achieve the final goal and improve the lives of millions of women and girls.