The month of December is one that comes with a series of parties and celebrations in Kenya. One such festival is circumcision for most boys transitioning to “adulthood” aged ten years to fifteen years, some even earlier than this age.
It is at these celebrations that the boy child “faces the knife” even though he is too young to enter into such a commitment. While these actions might pass as “celebrations,” for some of these children, it is a nightmare.
The Kenyan constitutional provisions are very protective of anyone below 18 years. However, for more than 50 years of independence very few stakeholders have come out to speak against the vice. Even after so many lives have been lost and children are severely suffering in these processes.
For men, circumcision is tolerated, expected, and in some countries celebrated. Let’s break it down a little. Won’t we? First, it is an international scandal for any girl to undergo female genital mutilation for the satisfaction of their religious or cultural beliefs, why should it be okay to do the same to the boys?
Do not get me wrong, I am not advocating for the FGM, but are we not playing double standards when the society and the government allow traumatic body modifications to be carried out to boys before they are 18? For your information, close to two-thirds of the men globally are not circumcised, and this does not make them lesser beings.
Some think that the foreskin is a vestigial organ like an appendix. You don’t even notice if you lost it as a child. It does not prevent them from doing their chores and taking up responsibilities like everyone else. The foreskin is not just a useless piece of skin; it provides lubrication, protection and has erogenous capabilities. It is, after all, a piece of skin filled with nerve endings.
Some people argue that circumcision helps prevent infections. Women are more at risk of disease, infection, odor, and disease than men due to their physiology. The medical fraternity therefore, would be the first to encourage chopping off of women’s clitoris. However, that is yet to happen.
In the Western Europe countries, their health services are publicly funded and therefore, if there were some money that the boy circumcision would have helped save for the government, am certain Margaret Thatcher would have pushed it through the British health service. Hence, all the claims on the advantages of male circumcision are either fake or exaggerated.
Advocating for the use of condoms to prevent infections makes great sense which makes circumcision a prophylactic argument. Some critical institutions such as The British Medical Association, The Royal Australian College of Physicians, The Canadian Pediatric Society and The Royal Dutch Medical Association all think male circumcision is not worth it.
So, as parents and guardians, why continue to violate your boys’ rights? Unless a child is in danger of disease, no operation should be attempted. There is a risk of injury every time a child is circumcised. Circumcision is a violation of a child’s body, and no parent has right of inflicting bodily harm to their kid.
Child circumcision currently is illegal in Germany after a court in Cologne voted to ban the practice. It is therefore, about time the Kenyan citizens, the government, and Medical fraternity join hands in banning this old cultural belief.