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Doctor moves to court seeking to have Female Genital Mutilation legalized

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BY PRUDENCE WANZA – A medical doctor has filed a case seeking to have Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Legalized.

Dr.Tatu Kamau also wants the anti- FGM Board which is tasked to campaign against the practice, abolished. The doctor says that the banning of female circumcision is against the African culture and should be reviewed.

In her application, she wants an order made that declares the prohibition of FGM unconstitutional.

“A declaration by second respondents purportedly established by this act is illegal as it was created without the authority of the law,”She argues.

She further argues that the Parliament overstretched its mandate because if they abolish a culture, tomorrow they will abolish religion or something else and thus set a bad precedent of trying to manage our culture.

Dr.Kamau also argues that prohibiting FGM infringes the freedoms of an individual and prevents people from practicing their culture.

She says that many women have been jailed because of the practice. According to her this should not happen because adults should be allowed to exercise their choices, adding that just like people are discouraged from smoking and drinking alcohol but left to make a choice, so should it be in the case of female circumcision.

Respondents in the case are the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Advocacy groups opposing the application have been enjoined in the case; the Federation of Women Lawyers ( FIDA), Kenya Women Parliamentary Association, National Gender and Equality Commission and Katiba Sasa.

The case which was at the Machakos Law Courts has been referred to the Chief Justice. According to Justice David Kemei the case has generated public interest hence the decision.

The case will continue to be heard before a three-judge bench on 26th February.

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