Elders in Mara Region have embarked on a campaign to convince boys to boycott circumcision as a protest against global condemnation of female genital mutilation (FGM). The season was due to start in December. The elders hope that their move to prevent boys from getting the cut will evoke anger among practitioners who will then enforce a revival of both female and male circumcision on the pretence that it is an order from the ancestors to cleanse the community, failure of which would lead to punitive measures.

A survey by The Citizen in Serengeti, Tarime and Rorya districts found that campaigns for the revival of FGM appealed to clan elders and most of them would gladly support the practice. “Some of the boys have threatened to boycott the initiation rite unless girls are also involved. They claim that during initiation boys and girls walk together as couples, a situation they believe makes the process colourful”, said an anti-FGM parent.

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