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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sabiny Girls to Fight Circumcision

August 31, 2010
Moses Bikala / New Vision Online
A total of 300 Sabiny girls in Bugiri district have acquired skills to fight female genital mutilation in a campaign dubbed “alternative right to passage”.

Under the campaign, the girls are given skills annually to serve as an initiation rite, instead of undergoing female circumcision as required by the Sabiny culture.

The training is aimed at empowering the girls to choose between what is good and bad in their culture.

Speaking at the passing-out ceremony of the girls at Iwemba Primary School recently, Dalton Chemasuet, the coordinator of adult reproductive health, said there is an urgent need to sensitise the community about the recently passed Female Genital Mutilation Bill.

Chemasuet said many people were not aware of the Bill and continued with the practice.

“Some elderly surgeons are still carrying out the painful practice on the girls,” he said.

Chemasuet said reports indicate that 34 girls have been circumcised in Bugiri since the beginning of this year.
“Some of them were circumcised two weeks ago, almost six months since the Bill was passed,” Chemasuet said.

He urged the Government to sensitise the masses about the Bill.

The Government, Chemasuet said, will construct a sh1.5b school in Iwemba sub-county next year to promote the education of the Sabiny girls.

Bugiri district education officer David Igambi hailed the Government for fighting female genital mutilation among the Sabiny.

He said most girls had dropped out of school due to stigma after undergoing circumcision.

Igambi urged the Government to include a topic about the dangers of female genital mutilation on the primary and secondary schools syllabi.

He warned parents against the commercialisation of defilement by demanding compensation from the suspects, instead of taking them to the courts of law.