Over 92 million female circumcisions have already been performed in Africa alone. Kenya is considered a primary perpetrator of this inhumane practice with almost 40% (US State department: 2010) of women still undergoing the procedure despite the fact that it is now illegal. In this film, various women, from those who’ve just undergone the procedure to those who carry it out, are interviewed about their perceptions and social pressures within small rural communities where the procedure is still considered a vital rite of passage for a maturing girl. Many of these smaller communities also bind the practice directly to the honour of the family’s name. FGM is intertwinned with the issues of forced marriage to older men and girls being forced out of school. It is often a prerequisite for teenage brides, whose families hope to win a large “lobola” or dowry from the bridegroom’s estate.
The price of not going through the initiation process is social isolation and rejection, while sadly, the health consequences of those who undergo the process are often much worse, and as one interviewee states, can result in death from infection and complications.