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Published on 06/02/2009

Friday marked a very special day for a particular group of women. These are the women who have undergone the female genital mutilation. It was the International Day of Zero tolerance to FGM. It was the day that the world put aside to highlight the fight against a practice that has taken religious and cultural dimension to inhibit a woman’s reproductive and sexual health rights. For the special women who have undergone or are at risk of undergoing Female Genital Mutilation — three million every year in Africa — the world is with you in your suffering. FGM is performed as a rite of passage to the girl child from infancy and women up to 30 years and above. Mutilation is a procedure where the female genitalia are interfered with by cutting in part or whole the clitoris or labia or scrapping the vagina as well as pulling of the clitoris. It’s one form of gender-based violence that inhibits child, gender and human rights, as the victim never has a say over what is being done to her body. In Kenya out of 43 tribes, only five do not practise FGM. In our Achieving Woman (page 14-15), Zeinab Ahmed has been at the forefront in the fight against FGM and seeks to know why some people are so much against womanhood that they seek to mutilate it.

The other day, I heard one of the mothers of the Molo fire victims regret over her inaction. Although she was away from the scene, she said that she had had a gut feeling even before the tragedy struck, that all was not well. “Kuna kitu ilikuwa inaniambia kuna shida mahali… (something was telling me there is trouble somewhere),” she recounted. It was her sixth sense ‘talking’ to her. We have all heard it said that women enjoy one sense more than their male counterpart — it is called the sixth sense. With this sense, also known as intuition, a woman is able to know about something which is happening elsewhere. Wives often tell their husbands that they will know when they are cheating on them long before they get home. They will tell from far that their baby is in distress and immediately rush home or call someone. And in Ourworld (page 6-7) today, we have an answer for you.

These and many more form the stories that touch your lives in one way or the other. Read through and get back to us with your sentiments.

Martin – Instinct editor

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