I-cut, An App Created By Kenyan Schoolgirls To End FGM

Over 130 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM

FGM is still being practiced in so many countries across the globe but mostly in Africa. In Nigeria alone, about 20 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation contributing to 10% of the global total. Other African countries like Egypt, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Somalia have also recorded high numbers of the FGM victims.

The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution in December 2012 calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation, a centuries-old practice stemming from the belief that circumcising girls controls women’s sexuality and enhances fertility. One of the targets in the new U.N. goals adopted  calls for the practice to be eliminated by 2030.

This year’s Technovation challenge will see five Kenyan schoolgirls, the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities, compete on a global platform for I-cut, an app they invented that aims at ending FGM prevalence.

I-cut connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut. Its simple interface has five buttons – help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback – offering users different services.

Technovation, which is sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations, aims to teach girls the skills they need to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders.

‘Restore hope’

The five girls from Kenya’s western city of Kisumu call themselves the ‘Restorers’ because they want to “restore hope to hopeless girls”, said Synthia Otieno, one of the team.



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