UGANDA: Uganda Moves To Ban FGM

The Ugandan parliament will pass a law banning female genital mutilation (FGM), President Yoweri Museveni has announced.

According to the statement issued by the presidency, the new law will protect young women, further saying those who would continue to perform the practice would face the death penalty if a girl dies as a result of the procedure.

"The way God made it, there is no part of a human body that is useless. Now you people interfere with God's work. Some say it is culture. Yes, I support culture but you must support culture that is useful and based on scientific information," President Museveni told local reporters.

Last year, the United Nations passed a resolution that called FGM a violation of the rights of women and said it constituted irreparable, irreversible scars on women.

The resolution also said female circumcision increases the risk of HIV transmission, as well as maternal and infant mortality.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 100 million to 140 million girls and women have been circumcised worldwide, saying another 3 million girls are at risk of being circumcised each year.

The United Nations Children's Fund said the practice is extremely painful and traumatising, and can result in prolonged bleeding, a higher risk of HIV infection, infertility and even death.

President Museveni's move to ban female circumcision is in line with other countries and organisations that have sought to decrease the prevalence of female circumcision, also known as female genital cutting according to local reports.

The practice involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia and creates scar tissue that can cause complications during labour, according to WHO.

The practice is reportedly rife in Kenya and Tanzania, where female genital mutilation is illegal, but continues due to poor enforcement of the law.

SOURCE: afrolNews

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DATE: 30/07/2009

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