Friday, 5 December 2014

Kadaga: Karamoja leaders should fight against genital mutilation

Ms Rebecca Kadaga (C) signs her commitment to end female genital mutilation in Moroto on Monday

The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has distanced herself from comments attributed to her calling on Karimajong men not to marry circumcised women.

In an interview at her office on Wednesday, Ms Kadaga said contrary to what was published in the media, she appealed to male cultural leaders to increase the fight against female genital mutilation by not pressurising their sons to marry circumcised women.

“I made an appeal to the elder men that if they make a decision to stop putting their sons under pressure to marry circumcised girls, the practise will end. I made the same appeal to the women that if they stop the community pressure on uncircumcised girls, then FGM will end,” she said.

Ms Kadaga made the appeal early this week while attending the third Tebeth cultural day in Karamoja.
In Tebeth, she said, girls who are not circumcised are ridiculed and are not allowed to draw water at the well unless all circumcised women are done.

“I have been fighting female genital mutilation for the last 15 years. How can I be insensitive to the victims?” she asked. “I had gone there to appeal to the community on their behalf and to the elders that the practice should stop.” Ms Kadaga further said the community assured her that they were ready to quit the practice because it is not an indigenous.

“They said they copied it from the Turkana in neighbouring Kenya and they are willing to stop it,” she said, adding that she is going to join forces to campaign against surgeons crossing from Kenya to come and circumcise girls in Uganda because it is a lucrative business.
FGM is criminal in uganda
FGM is prohibited in Uganda. The Act provides for; Criminalisation of FGM and other related activities; prosecution of persons who practice FMG and protection of victims of FGM. Early last week, Reproductive Education and Community Health (REACH), a local NGO revealed that married women were leading in promoting female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sebei sub-region.

The report said married women who are still stuck in traditional beliefs account for the highest percentage of the cases of FGM.

According to Reach, more than 200 women who underwent operation in 2012 in Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts were married.

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