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.
By Sania Babirye
Anti Female genital Mutilation activists have devised a new strategy of creating and re packaging the message against female genital mutilation.
The new strategy will involve short videos taken by youths who are activists against Female genital Mutilation distributed in communities practicing FGM distributed using their social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube among other social media networks.
As a result the Italian Association for Women in Development has concluded a 10 day training workshop on how to create and produce videos on FGM in Kampala where 13 youths from African countries and Germany affected by FGM received certificates, smart phones and cameras to help them in their work.
While closing the workshop Susan Namuwonge from the ministry of Gender has welcomed the video strategy saying it is very important and appropriate because it stimulates discussion over an act that violates the rights to life among other human rights violations .
She further says that with the power that a video has to go viral more attention will be given to the abandonment against the act because people learn best when they hear and see helping them to appreciate the fact that FGM is a bad practice.
According to UNICEF report at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries especially in Africa have been subjected to the practice.
FGM has also emerged as an issue in Europe (German)due to migration from countries affected by practice.
By Patricia Osman
As Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the International day of zero tolerance to Female genital mutilation, parents in areas where the act is practiced are strongly warned to keep the girls in schools where they cannot be easily persuaded or influenced into the act.
Hon. Margret Komuhangi, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary committee on Gender, Labor and Social Development says the practice continues Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Nakapiripirit, Amudat among other districts.
FGM is practiced by one per cent (1%) of Uganda’s population. Uganda passed the Prohibition of FGM Act in 2010 however experts say it doesn’t carry stringent measures.
FGM practice involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-therapeutic reasons.
Globally, it is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.