Five teenage Kenyan girls who have invented an app for fighting female genital mutilation (FGM) will be flying to Google headquarters in California, USA, where they hope to win $15,000 for I-cut, an app to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The girls, namely; Stacy Owino, Cynthia Otieno, Purity Achieng and Macrine Atineo, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities.
Their “I-cut” app seeks to help connect girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut.
“FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide. I”t is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy Owino, told the media, adding that the opportunity is one that will change their lives, whether they win or not.
“Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better,” Owino said.
The girls are expected to fly out on August 6.
FGM Stats in Kenya
Although FGM is outlawed in Kenya, the vice is still wide spread especially in the pastoral communities.
One in four Kenyan women and girls has undergone FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia.
FGM affects the physical and psychological health of girls and women; decreases their attendance and performance at school; fails to meet their gender equality rights; and risks their lives at the time of FGM, at marriage and during childbirth.