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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

FGM virtually eradicated in two zones in Ethiopia

November 2, 2009
By EthioPlanet staff

In a series of celebrations that mark a profound and historic watershed, tens of thousands of people converged on Durame town from October 29 to 31 to celebrate the virtual eradication of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the zones of Kembatta and Tembaro in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State.

According to local non-governmental organisation, Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma-Tope (KMG), the virtual elimination of this harmful traditional practice suggests that well over 100,000 girls have been spared in this region, reversing in a single decade a practice so old some Christians and Muslims here mistakenly believed it was mandated by their religions.
“We called it ‘getting the dirt out,’ but we never said it out loud, because it was taboo,” said Bogaletch Gebre, founder chief executive officer of KMG, who returned to Kembatta, her birth place, in 1997, to start the NGO that would fight for the human rights of women and improve the environment for all people in the region.