UGANDA: UN Calls For End To Female Mutilation

THE United Nations is calling for stronger commitments from governments to end female genital mutilation (FGM) which is widely condemned by health experts.

The call comes ahead of the international day against female genital mutilation, held every year on February 6.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, in a message to mark the day called on governments to protect the rights of women and girls.

"We call on leaders to take action to end female genital mutilation in line with the United Nations resolution adopted last year," she said.

In Uganda, the tradition of FGM is practiced by the Sabiny tribe in Kapchorwa district in eastern Uganda. Among the Sabiny, initiation ceremonies involving FGM are carried out every two years for girls between the ages of 14 and 16 years.

In the UN resolution, governments reiterated that female genital mutilation violates the rights of women and girls. They said the practice constitutes an irreparable and irreversible abuse.

Among the issues cited were mounting medical evidence that female genital mutilation poses a serious threat to the health of women and girls, increasing their vulnerability to HIV, raising the risk of maternal and infant mortality, and harming their psychological, sexual and reproductive health.

SOURCE: allAfrica

AUTHOR: Evelyn Lirri

URL: Click here

DATE: 07/02/2008

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