UGANDA: Rights Activists Push for FGM End

Kapchorwa — Human rights activists have called upon the East Africa bloc to honour the commitment to end female genital mutilation, describing it as a discriminatory and a harmful practice to girls.

While addressing delegates from Kenya and Uganda and traditionalists at the 12th Sebei Culture Day celebrations on Monday held at Sebei College Tegeres, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, said ending FGM is crucial to the success of two of the Millennium Development Goals: Improving maternal health and promoting gender equality. She said: "FGM is a violation of the women rights. It is a dangerous and irreversible procedure that negatively impacts the general health, child-bearing capabilities and educational opportunities of girls. God is not happy about the practice."

The Sebei Culture Day, an annual event, was held under the theme 'Education and quality reproductive health are key in FGM abandonment. This is regarded as a day of zero tolerance to FGM'.

Ms Teresa Malaba, a lecturer at Kenya University, said in order to end the practice, nations must build a generally protective environment for children. The chairman Sebei Elders Association, Mr Patrick Cheborion, said progress in fighting FGM needs collective support from all stakeholders, including toughening national laws against the practice.

SOURCE: DATE: December 10, 2011

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