UGANDA: End Female Genital Mutilation

Thoraya Obaid

Thoraya Obaid

Today is the International Day against female genital mutilation (FGM). The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) calls for stronger commitment to end FGM. We call 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 UN resolution adopted last year. In the resolution, governments reiterated that female genital mutilation violates the rights of women and girls.

They said the practice constitutes an irreparable, irreversible abuse. They cited medical evidence that female genital mutilation poses a 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 and sexual and reproductive health.

Despite these findings, an estimated 100 million to 140 million women and girls worldwide have undergone the practice and 3 million more girls are at risk each year. Many women and girls are traumatised and suffer in silence, afraid of being excluded from their communities.

UNFPA calls on governments to develop effective policies for the elimination of female genital mutilation. We urge decision makers to play leadership roles in eliminating female genital mutilation. We call on national and community leaders to support the development of prevention and educational programmes, which take into account local realities.

Intensified efforts are urgently needed to stop the practice in all its forms. UNFPA pledges to increase support for efforts to end female genital mutilation. We call on governments and partners to contribute to the UNFPA/UNICEF joint programme and trust fund to end the harmful practice. UNFPA remains committed to women’s empowerment and gender equality and the right to sexual and reproductive health.

Our mandate is to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with respect.

SOURCE: New Vision Online

AUTHOR: Thoraya Obaid

URL: Click here

DATE: 07/02/2008

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