By Daudi Zirimala
Uganda will join the rest of the world on Thursday to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation FGM with intention of raising awareness among all Ugandans about the dangers of this practice and to advocate for its total elimination.
According to State minister for Gender and culture Peace Mutuuzo, in Uganda FGM is practiced in the eastern parts of the country among the Sabiny living in the districts of Kapchorwa, Bukwo and Kween in Elgon region; and the Pokot, Kadam and Tepeth living in Amudat, Moroto and Nakapiripirit districts in Karamoja region and a disturbing trend of FGM surge was observed within a period of three to four months (November 2018 to January 2019) in Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts which resulted in an estimated 350 girls and women being mutilated. This demonstrated the need for consistency and sustainability of interventions.
She notes that during the commemoration the Ministry will focus on broad interventions in addressing FGM with the goal of eliminating the practice by 2030, through Community engagement for development of agreed and locally accepted alternative rites of passage to initiate girls and women into womanhood, Strengthening male involvement, Strengthening law enforcement including retooling the Law enforcement Workforce and establishing Police Posts in hard to reach areas among others.
FGM is a violation of the women’s rights and has far reaching effects on their health and social well being.