Five teenage girls (Stacy Owino, Cynthia Otieno, Purity Achieng,
The group of girls calls themselves ‘The Restorers’, and they were the only Africans that participated in the 2017 Technovation Challenge in Silicon Valley in August. The Restorers did not win the Technovation Challenge, but they will continue their fight against FGM and hope to get i-Cut into the Google Play Store soon.
I know the journey won’t always be easy but to the girls who dream of being an engineer or an entrepreneur and who dream of creating amazing things, I want you to know that there’s a place for you in this industry, there’s a place for you at Google—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the girls.
“This app a good way of getting people to talk about FGM,” said Dorcas Adhiambo Owino, the group’s mentor and Kenya’s Technovation program lead.
The app will help connect affected girls to legal and medical assistance. Girls who are forced to undergo the procedure can also alert local authorities by pressing a panic button on the app, CNN reports.
FGM, a non-medical procedure that involves the total or partial removal of a woman’s external genitalia, is illegal in Kenya. But it’s still practiced because of its cultural significance as a rite of passage and prerequisite for marriage.
According to a 2016 Unicef report, one in five girls have undergone the procedure in the east African nation. The practice is mostly done when the girls are between the ages 10-14 years