"It starts with you" - A qualitative study about Samburu men’s perspective, change of mind and involvement in ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Samburu, Kenya.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Socialhögskolan

Abstract: The aim of this qualitative field study was to investigate and analyse Samburu men’s perspective on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Samburu, Kenya. The chosen subjects to examine were the men’s perspective of the practice of FGM/C itself, the process of change of mind and their involvement in ending FGM/C. To achieve this aim, in-depth interviews were made with 10 men in the surrounding area of the town Maralal in Samburu County. To conduct the interviews an interpreter was used for six of the interviews and the rest was carried out in English. This study showed the importance of involving men in the abandonment of FGM/C, since they are the decision makers in the families in Samburu, as well as the religious and community leaders. The study also further developed the research of different ways to involve men and how the process looks when it comes to the change of mind. The findings showed three subjects - knowledge, personal connection and visual information like pictures & videos as the main parts for the change of mind. All of the respondents worked in various ways to end the practice in their surroundings, depending on their individual resources of money, transportation and education. They were all involving other men: male relatives, neighbours, friends and community in ending FGM/C and saw men as an important group to involve. When working against the cultural and traditional practice that FGM/C is, these are the fundamental aspects to take into consideration, for the development of the ultimate approach.

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