Kenyan Girls Develop App to End Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM), the total or partial removal of external female genitalia, affects 200 million women and girls around the world. Though illegal in many countries, the practice persists, putting women and girls at enormous risk.

One group of five tech-savvy Kenyan girls has developed an innovative solution that they believe will help those affected right in their neighborhood. Together, they created i-Cut, an app that will help prevent FGM and provide help and information to women and girls already affected by it.

The app contains a simple interface where users can choose from five buttons: help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback. Girls who have already been affected can use the app to connect with medical or legal help. Anyone who is at risk of FGM can use the app to report the procedure to local authorities or connect with rescue centers.

Kenya is one of the most technologically advanced African countries, known for its advanced money transfer systems. But, it also has high rates of female genital mutilation. In Kenya alone, an estimated one in four women and girls are affected by FGM, although the procedure was banned in 2011.

“This app is a good way of getting people to talk about FGM,” said Dorcas Adhiambo Owino, the group’s mentor. “It is a conversation starter and that shows anyone can be involved in the fight against FGM.”

The team, all between 15 and 17-years-old, call themselves “The Restorers” because they’re working to “restore hope to hopeless girls.”

The Restorers are the only Africans chosen to participate in the 2017 Technovation competition, an international event—sponsored by companies like Google, Verizon and the UN—where girls develop mobile apps to solve problems in their own communities. The team will fly to the US on August 6 to participate in the Silicon Valley competition. Winners will receive a $15,000 prize.

The competition is open to girls 10 to 18 in more than 100 countries. In the past 8 years, 15,000 girls have competed with mobile apps and other startups to combat problems from food waste to women’s safety.

This year, finalists come from all over the world, including Armenia, Canada, India, Kazakhstan and, of course, Kenya. Girls from these countries have developed apps to help patients with dementia, to inform and empower pregnant women in rural areas, and to teach sign language. These competitors embody just what girls are capable of when they have the opportunity and resources to tackle even the world’s biggest problems.

“The whole experience will change our lives,” said Restorer teammate Stacy Owino. “Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better.”

 

Photo Credit: YouTube

86 comments

Marie W
Marie W9 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Kimberly W
Kimberly Wallace11 months ago

TY

SEND
Kathryn I
Kathryn Iabout a year ago

This is great news for Kenyan girls! Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Melania P
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

Wonderful!!

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Very clever!!

SEND
Kathryn I
Kathryn Iabout a year ago

I'm for anything that can help Kenya as a whole, but specifically including the girls of Kenya. Thank you

SEND
Sabrina D
Past Member about a year ago

I hope that it'll be a success, I'm against female genital mutilation.

SEND
One Heart i
One Heart incabout a year ago

Thanks!!!

SEND
ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA Rabout a year ago

💕... copy&paste Sheila S

SEND
One Heart i
One Heart incabout a year ago

Thanks!!!

SEND