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Friday, November 13, 2009

Revision on FGM bill in Uganda

November 11, 2009 By Daniel Edyegu and Rashid Muzungyo - The New Vision

Leaders from Kapchorwa district have asked Parliament to revise some sections of the of female genital mutilation (FGM) Bill. Nelson Chelimo, the LC5 chairperson, said Section 4 of the Bill, that subjects a convict to 10 years imprisonment for carrying out self mutilation, was aggressive. "Most women who carry out self mutilation do it out of social pressure. Some Sabiny communities believe that uncircumcised women could encounter difficulty in getting suitors. So Parliament should be lenient in enacting this section to avoid an unjust penalty" he said.

Chelimo argued that Section 2 of the Bill that subjects a convict to a 10-year-imprisonment for carrying out FGM is hostile and not applicable to the local community. He proposed that the penalty be lessened to five years. Patrick Cheptoyek, the Reproductive Health Uganda district chairperson, said Section 6, that sentences an offender who abets, coerces, threatens, induces or participates in events that lead to FGM to five-year imprisonment, should be clearly defined. The leaders called for the review during a consultative meeting with the parliamentary committee on gender, labour and social development at Kok Hall in Kapchorwa town council on Monday. The parliamentary team, led by Beatrice Lagada (Oyam) was on a four-day consultative tour of Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Amudat and Nakapiripirit districts to seek views of the people on the Bill.