by Diane Cole
National Public Radio, US – February 24, 2016
Substitution of female genital mutilation (FGM) with non-harmful rituals looks to be increasingly successful. It is notable that traditional cutters are also willingly involved. It is clearly also important that national health policies are supportive of such efforts. The new traditions are taking hold in Maasai and Samburu communities in Kenya and Tanzania. After two or three days of preparatory sessions for the girls, the celebration culminates with communal singing and dancing and blessings by the village elders, who pour a mixture of milk and honey and water over the heads of the girls. But it can take six months or more of meetings before a community agrees to abandon FGM and accept alternative rites.