TANZANIA: FGM on the decline, study shows
DAR ES SALAAM , 4 Dec 2006 (IRIN) - The practice of female genital
mutilation (FGM) is on the decline in Tanzania, according to the
results of a study by the country's Ministry of Health.
on 1 December, the Tanzania Demographic Health Survey showed that FGM
prevalence had declined from 18 percent in 1996 to 15 percent in 2005,
when the survey was carried out.
"More efforts are needed by
various stakeholders to ensure the practice is eradicated," said
Ananilea Nkya, director of the Tanzania Media Women Association, a
local non-governmental organisation.
Local NGOs attributed the decline in the number of girls undergoing FGM to continued awareness campaigns against the practice.
"The campaigns have had positive results, including
a recent decision by 190 mutilators to lay down their tools in
Kilimanjaro region," said Helen Kijo-Bisimba, director of the Legal and
Human Rights Centre. She urged the government to increase its funding
of projects aimed at eradicating gender-based violence, including FGM.
involves the cutting and/or removal of the clitoris and other vaginal
tissue, often under unsanitary conditions. It is practised in at least
28 countries globally. The United Nations children's fund, Unicef,
estimates that up to 140 million girls and women around the world have
undergone some form of FGM. It is practised extensively in Africa, and
also found in parts of the Middle East and among immigrant communities
around the world.
Human-rights activists have put pressure on
governments to legislate against FGM. At least 16 African countries
have banned the practice, and the Maputo Protocol, an African regional
document that explicitly prohibits and condemns FGM, came into force in
Published On: December 4, 2006