|Name Agnes Pareiyo|
|Known for Activism and Founder and Director of the Tasaru Ntomonok Rescue Center|
Anti-FGM board chairperson Ms Agnes blames politicians from Kuria for promoting FGM
Agnes Pareiyo (born 1956) is a Maasai Kenya women's rights activist, politician and Founder and Director of the Tasaru Ntomonok Rescue Center for young girls, who campaigns against female genital cutting.
- Anti FGM board chairperson Ms Agnes blames politicians from Kuria for promoting FGM
Pareiyo was initially able to persuade her father to allow her to not be 'cut', but social pressure from other women meant that she underwent the procedure, and afterwards vowed to stop girls undergoing the same pain. Pareiyo has spent time challenging cultural practices and engaging with communities that propagate the procedure, suggesting and demonstrating alternative rites of passage for young girls to undergo.
When Agnes Pareiyo travels around For the Maasai community teaching girls about female genital mutilation, she likes to bring models of different vaginas with her to show the girls what could happen from FGM. Some of these vaginas are in a healthy state meaning they have not been affected by FGM, some models show the clitoris cut up and the most scary models are of vaginas that are completely sewn shut except for a pee hole.
Pareiyo was the first Maasai women to be elected Deputy Mayor of her locality. Pareiyo has also analyzed the patriarchal social effects of FGM, including the ways that the procedure is used to take girls out of education and other means of economic and social independence.
Pareiyo already has a "safe house" for young girls who are trying to escape female genital mutilation. She has all of the girls protected and going to school. What is truly amazing is that she will work with each girls family so they can also understand the consequences of FGM. Once this happens, the daughter no longer has to be worried about being forced into FGM by the community and her family. Pareiyo is opening a second "safe house" soon.
Pareiyo was named United Nations in Kenya Person of the Year in 2005, for her work achieving gender equality and empowerment of women.