Since our original report was published in 2013, there has been positive progress in Kenya, and key to this success is the co-ordinated approach to ending FGM that is increasingly being undertaken across Kenya’s anti-FGM campaigns.
The estimated prevalence of FGM in women aged 15 to 49 is 21% (DHS 2014, p.333). There has been a steady reduction in prevalence since 1998, when it was 37.6% (DHS 1998, p.168).
Figures suggest a 12% difference in FGM prevalence between women (aged 15 to 49) who live in urban areas and women who live in rural areas, at 13.8% and 25.9% respectively (DHS 2014, p.333).
Most people across all ethnic groups have heard of FGM, although frequency of knowledge increases with better education and greater wealth. Those aged 15 to 19 are the least likely to have heard of it. Approximately 40% of people with ‘no education’ believe that FGM should continue, but this number falls dramatically as education level increases. Overall, 6.2% of women and 9.3% of men who have heard of FGM believe it should continue (DHS 2014, pp.331- 3, 340-3). For many, culture and tradition override the law when it comes to FGM and other harmful traditional practices, and the implementation of the law is a problem.
The most prevalent type of FGM practised in Kenya is Type II (some flesh removed) (87.2%). 1.6% have had Type I (cut, no flesh removed) and 9.3% have had Type III (sewn closed) (DHS 2014, p.333).
The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act (passed in 2011; revised in 2012) criminalises all forms of FGM, regardless of the age or status of the girl or woman, as well as the stigmatisation of women who have not been cut.
Approx. 47,800,000 (Country Meters, 28 November 2016)
Median age: 19.5 years
Growth rate: 1.81% (2016 est.)
Rank: 147 out of 186 in 2013 (UNDP)
Life expectancy at birth (years): 64
Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 38.3 deaths
Maternal mortality rate: 510 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Fertility rate, total (births per women): 3.14 (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence: 5.91% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,517,700 (2015 est.); country comparison to the world: 8
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 35,800 (2015 est.); country comparison to the world: 9
Total population: 78%
Female: 74.9%; Male: 81.1% (2015 est.)
Youth (15-24 years): 82%
Female – 83%; Male – 82% (World Bank, 2014, p.2)
GDP (official exchange rate): $61.41 billion (2015 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP): $3,200 (2015 est.)
GDP (real growth rate): 5.4% (2015 est.)
Urban population: 25.6%
Rate of urbanisation: 4.34% annually (2010-15 est.)
Embu, Kalenjin, Kamba, Kikuyu, Kisii, Kuria, Luhya, Luo, Maasai, Meru, Mijkenda/Swahili, Samburu, Somali, Taita/Taveta, Turkana, other African, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab)
Christian 83% (Protestant 47.7%, Catholic 23.4%, other Christian 11.9%), Muslim 11.2%, Traditionalists 1.7%, other 1.6%, none 2.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2009 est.)
English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages