The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 is an excellent opportunity to showcase innovative partnerships that aim to empower women. A good example is the End FGM Beads Initiative to eliminate female genital mutilation in Kenya.

On 27 June, the Government of Kenya formally endorsed the partnership between UNFPA, the Anti-FGM Board, Ecobank and Ushanga Kenya, a national project that seeks to transform the living standards of rural women by creating jobs making traditional beadwork.

"FGM simply put, is violence against women," Dr. William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya, said at the signing ceremony in Nairobi. "We will explore every opportunity to work with partners towards the elimination of the practice by all means."

Female genital mutilation is a major obstacle to women's empowerment in Kenya. Although the country has made significant progress on eliminating female genital mutilation, which became illegal in 2011, 21% of Kenyan women and girls aged 15-49 have been cut. Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices, including female genital mutilation, is one of the five themes of the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25.

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