The clitoris should stay where He fixed it!
Reverend Njoya releases a book on women’s ‘selfhood’
Statistics from the United Nations indicate that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have had their genitals mutilated – suffering one of the most inhumane acts of gender-based violence in the world.
Reverend Timothy Njoya, a retired Minister of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa and a leading advocate for justice and human rights in Kenya has today (11 August 2020) launched a book on women’s rights to bodily autonomy.
Titled Selfhood; Divinity of the Clitoris the book focuses on a woman’s right to control their own bodies by calling an end to oppressive practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). By highlighting his own mother’s experience in the journey to realising ‘selfhood’ (a state where a woman repositions herself outside the context of traditionally set gender and cultural norms); the book showcases the story of Wandia, the first Kikuyu woman to openly escape FGM to pursue education.
Speaking during the launch, Rev. Njoya was quick to reiterate the role of religion in pushing for gender equality by openly advocating for women’s rights especially in a world where religion has often been used to permeate inequality. ‘’The clitoris is divine because it manifests God’s likeliness in the human form. God created both male and female in his likeness as one and equal, ‘’ he said while reading an excerpt of the book.
The book launched in partnership with Hivos East Africa’s Voice Programme, seeks to champion women’s rights to integrity and free choice to make decisions about their sexuality without influence from patriarchal cultures. This includes advocacy to create awareness of a woman’s fundamental right to equality and privacy when it comes to matters pertaining to physical and psychological integrity- according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
‘’Hivos believes that women and girls should have control over their lives and are able to participate actively in social, political and economic domains. Women’s empowerment is about realising true equality for men and women,’’ said Mendi Njonjo, Regional Director of Hivos East Africa.
The book will equally be used by academia and civil society to pursue narratives on equality particularly on women’s integrity and dignity.
Hivos seeks new and creative solutions to persistent global problems; solutions created by people taking their lives into their own hands. We offer a positive counterbalancing force against discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Our mission is to innovate for social change. With smart projects in the right places, we work towards more open and green societies.
Jointly executed by Hivos and Oxfam Novib, Voice is a grant facility by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands that offers grants for grassroots groups and organisations that have difficulty getting funding and that represent or support: people with disabilities; LGBTI+ people; women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence; age discriminated groups like the young and elderly; indigenous groups, and ethnic minorities.