Kenya National Teachers Union boss Wilson Sossion has hit the roof over directive to subject young girls in Narok county to mandatory pregnancy and female genital mutilation (FGM) tests before starting school.
The directive which was given by county commissioner George Natembeya is aimed at curbing teen pregnancies that are on the rise within the region.
The checks, he said, are aimed at identifying and prosecuting parents who force their daughters to undergo the cut and facilitate the arrest and prosecution of men responsible for impregnating school girls.
“If we do this, it will curb the high number of teenage pregnancies being reported in this county,” Natembeya told a local daily.
However KNUT boss is appalled by the directive and likened the FGM tests to “sexual abuse”.
“What we want is the law to be followed in regards to handling children. Their rights should not be violated,” Sossion told a local daily.
According to the law, pregnancy and FGM tests must be approved by parents or guardians. The FGM inspection means the private parts of the girls must be physically examined by a medical practitioner for evidence of the cut.
“After conducting the FGM test, what do you seek to achieve? It will only stigmatize the girls” Sossion said.
Parents Association Chairman Nicholas Maiyo echoed the sentiments saying subjecting the girls to FGM inspection infringes on their fundamental rights.
He said such tests should only be conducted if a complaint has been filed to the police regarding forceful mutilation of girls.
“For a commissioner to issue such a directive, it infringes on the rights of an individual. It’s the same as HIV test. No one should be forced to take a HIV test,”Maiyo said.
He said inasmuch as the association is against FGM, the rights of girls suspected to have undergone the cut should not be violated.