UGANDA: MPs Call For Banning Of FGM


Members of Parliament have unanimously agreed to ban female genital mutilation (FGM), widely practiced in parts of the country, even before the FGM Bill is presented in the House for debate.

In a presentation by Kinkizi East MP Chris Byaromunsi mid last week on the dangers associated with FGM, pictures depicting physical and emotional pains women and girls undergo during genital mutilation process, left MPs frightened.

FGM is cultural obligation in some communities the main purpose of which is to satisfy men interests.
The presentation showed a woman feeling acute pain as she was being cut. It also depicted the apprehension women and girls go through before undergoing the exercise.

Besides, it demonstrated vividly the consequences of FGM such as future birth complications, permanent scars on the private part and the inability to control urine among others.

“FGM is an extreme discrimination against women and the girl-child; we need a law now to fight this discrimination,” Alisemera Babiiha (Bundibugyo Woman MP, NRM) said.

MPs from Kapchorwa welcomed the idea of criminalising FGM, saying that their communities are ready to accept the law which they described as long overdue.

“The dangers of FGM is real and unless there is a law against it, we, especially us the leaders who come from the areas where FGM is practiced, cannot do much,” Herbert Sabila (Tingey MP, NRM) said, adding that Kapchorwa District is yearning for a law against FGM which will save many young girls.

MP Mariam Nalubega said that with a law in place, the number of school going age children will go up because they will not be held at home so as to go through the FGM process or hide away (from home and school) for fear of being mutilated.

MPs urged Dr Byaromunsi to speed up the preparation of the Bill and have it presented to Parliament for debate. They also want the Bill to contain punitive measures aimed at curbing the practice they describe as torture against women.

They also want the Bill to compel government to provide funds for the purpose of achieving the total elimination of the practice in Uganda.

FGM is practiced in 20 districts in Uganda, including Kapchorwa, Bugiri, Kamuli, Isingiro, Luwero and Kampala.

SOURCE: Monitor Online

AUTHOR: Ismail Musa Ladu

URL: Click here

DATE: 05/05/2009

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