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Effects of female genital mutilation and alternative rites of passage on girl-child self esteem: experiences from marigat district in Kenya

Author: 
Kiptek Edward
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The purpose of the study was to examine the potency of alternative rites of passage in enhancing girl child self-esteem. To achieve this, the study sought to compare the effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and alternative rites of passage on girl-child self-esteem in Marigat District in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. A total of 132 respondents were involved in the study. The selection of the study sample was done using stratified random sampling, simple random sampling and proportionate sampling. Schools were stratified into educational divisions from which 16 out of the total of 45 public schools in Marigat District were selected using proportionate random sampling. To get a specific school to participate in the study, simple random sampling was used. The respondents of the study included teachers and pupils from the selected schools, who were selected through simple random sampling. Questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis were used to collect data. Descriptive statistical techniques and inferential statistics (t-test) were used in analyzing the data with the aid of the SPSS computer program. The study revealed that, unlike FGM, the alternative rites of passage enhanced girl-child self-esteem, though some section of the society still considered it as a foreign practice in the society. Majority of the learners, for instance, agreed that they had no doubts about their academic abilities while others blamed their teachers and fellow pupils whenever things went wrong. The elements of the existing alternative rite of passage included: gender roles; sex and sexuality; adolescence challenges and how to counter them; life skills and self reliance; Christian moral values; family life issues; economic empowerment; rights of the girl-child; health issues; nutrition, cultural values and career choices. It was recommended that the school administrators, teachers and parents should come up with activities in order to enhance self esteem of the learners who have undergone FGM as well as the alternative rites of passage and to eliminate all the barriers that may lead to stereotype or make the learners feel inferior to or ridiculed by others.

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