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CHAPTER ONE 1.1 INTRODUCTION Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined as the practice that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for cultural or religious beliefs, rather than medical reasons according to Journal of Human Rights, (2007).Types of geographical location, socioeconomic status and the ethnic background. It is not always easy to distinguish who will practice which type of female genital mutilation (Journal of Human Rights 2007, 6:392-413). Female genital mutilation has been traced back three centuries however, it has undergone cultural transformations. It is practiced in most African, Asian and Middle East countries with an estimated three million girls at a risk of undergoing FGM yearly, which is equivalent to 8,000 girls daily (Momoh, 2010).The various reasons proposing continuation of female genital mutilations may be categorized in to socio-cultural, psychosexual, religious and hygiene purposes and the ritual is observed to mark the coming of age where-by it is accompanied by celebrations and gifts exchange (Nursing Standard 2008, 43-47). Most of the time, victims of FGM have no knowledge about the exact day when the procedure will be carried out and sometimes they guess as the villagers may plan ceremonies the previous night. Preparations involve gifts to the girl, nourishment with food, singing songs of praise to the girls and treating her with royalty while others may have no clue. Instead they are suddenly drugged from the bed before dawn and led to a deserted area, hut, sacred tree or river (Baron & Denmark 2006, 339-355). The interest for the above topic was drawn from observing that nursing has become an international profession, and all nurses have a responsibility to familiarize with different cultural and religious beliefs, so as to offer holistic care without discrimination or stereotyping the clients. Due to immigration, cultural diversity has increased and it can never be ignored in the nursing profession especially when health may appear to be getting compromised. The purpose of the study is to find out the mothers` perspectives of female genital mutilation among the Maasai community in Kenya. The aim of the study can be utelised in the research results in future when planning education programs in preventing FGM.

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