The ‘Loita Rite of Passage’: An alternative to the alternative rite of passage?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Since the late 1990s, so-called ‘alternative rites of passage’ (ARP) have gained popularity in Kenya as a strategy to end female genital mutilation (FGM). ARPs promise to end FGM while respecting indigenous cultures by mimicking the ‘traditional’ initiation ritual but with the omission of the physical cut. The limited number of studies on ARPs largely point out the approach's weaknesses and challenges. This article explores the case study of the Loita Rite of Passage, an ARP implemented among the Loita Maasai of southern Kenya and associated with NGO SAFE Maa. It analyses how the Loita Rite of Passage differs from the ARPs of other NGOs in Kenya and identifies factors for success.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSSM - Qualitative Research in Health
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2021


  • Female genital mutilation
  • alternative rite of passage
  • pastoralists
  • Maasai
  • Kenya
  • women's rights
  • sexual and reproductive health
  • women's health
  • female circumcision
  • female genital cutting


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