Kenya, located on the eastern coastline of the African continent, is an equatorial country that achieved independence from the British empire in 1963. It has a population of 51 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of 77 billion US dollars. Its economy is largely supported by its agricultural sector, which constitutes 25% of economic activity. Kenya's top exports include tea, coffee, and flowers. Unlike other countries in the eastern region, Kenya exports no oil or gas products.
Kenyan culture is defined by its hybrid nature, merging traditional societies with modern values. The hybrid culture is reflected in the diverse lifestyles of its peoples. While Nairobi, the capital city, has a population of roughly 4 million, just a few hours away one can find cattle ranchers who live in accordance with traditional customs, raising livestock which they must protect from lions.
In Kenya, the practice of female genital mutilation is a longstanding cultural tradition with conflicting interpretations. Even within Kenya, some view the practice as a coming-of-age ritual while others consider it a human rights abuse. In 2008 the World Health Organization called for a ban on FGM, and in 2012 the UN called for all member countries (which includes Kenya) to ban the practice.