TARIME, Tanzania (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In a remote, deeply traditional corner of northern Tanzania, growing numbers of girls are running away from home to escape genital mutilation carried out during mass initiations.
In the Tarime district of Mara region, bordering Kenya, the number of girls who fled these illegal rituals at the end of last year doubled to 634 from 312 the year before, according to girls’ rights campaigners.
Teenager Magdalena Lesedi, who narrowly escaped the knife when she ran away during a cutting ceremony at her home village in December, was horrified by what she saw.
“I was very shocked to see blood running down the leg of one of my friends who had just been cut. I couldn’t bear it, I had to run away,” she told Thomson Reuters Foundation.