Search This Blog

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Government of Uganda Criminalizes Female Genital Cutting

November 04, 2009 By Makuma Rukiya - The Indipendent The government [of Uganda] has launched a plan that will criminalize anyone who directly or indirectly participates in the process of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This includes categories of people who attempt to carry out the practice, participation in the events leading to the practice, and those who procure, aid and abet the practice.

FGM is a common practice in the districts of Kapochorwa, Bukwo, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and it is carried out during even years. FGM involves all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external womanhood without medical recommendation or for non-therapeutic reasons.

The government is working through the ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development to wipe out the practice. Honorable Nakadaama Rukia the minister of state for Gender and Cultural affairs said that a total sum of 30,000 dollars has been put in place to eliminate the practice. The money would be used in the formation of a national alliance to oversee the development of ending the practice. The announcement was made by Nakadama Rukia during a presentation on the abandonment initiative of FGM in Uganda at Imperial Royale hotel, Kampala, on November 3rd. The government wants this process to be very fast and has set a deadline of 2012 for eliminating the practice in Uganda [...].

Various organizations like UNICEF, UNFPA support the government on this initiative because it will improve the status of women in the affected areas. Jane Babiiha Alisemera the MP for Bundibugyo district said that these women suffer from all sorts of complications which could have both long or short term effects. She cited complications like hemorrhaging (which can lead to death), pain or shock, infertility, fistulae, and sexual complications, among others.

Dora Byamukama a member of the East African Legislative Assembly said that the government had come up with the initiative to prohibit and criminalize FGM and to provide the necessary legislation to do so under the principle that citizens’ bodies are state property.

[This article ends with an open question to the readers:] What do our readers think of this campaign? Is 30,000 dollars (Shs 60m) enough to wipeout the practice in all of Uganda? Is it just a matter of education or something more?