UGANDA: Female Genital Mutilation Has Positive Side

THERE are positive aspects of female genital mutilation (FGM), the Reproductive Education and Community Health (REACH)has said.

“We aim at conveying the message that we are not against the whole female genital mutilation ritual, but the actual cutting of the female genitalia. There are some good pre-FGM rituals,” Martin Cherukut, the REACH programme officer, said.

“For instance, teaching the girls how to take care of their future spouses on the pre-cutting night. These are basics every woman needs to know in marriage. Such teachings are held even among other tribes such as the Baganda. Cutting the female genitalia does not in any way qualify a girl to womanhood,” he said.

In Uganda, the practice is mainly carried out among the Sabiny in Bukwo and Kapchorwa districts and the Pokot Karimojong in Amudat district.

The Tepeth Karimojong in Katikekile sub-county in Moroto district and the Kadam Karimojong in Nakapiripirit district also carry out the practice. Early this month, the parliamentary committee on gender, labour and social development concluded a consultative tour in Bukwo,Kapchorwa and Amudat districts seeking views on FGM.

Cherukut said 400 girls recently underwent training in the alternative right of passage programme in Amudat and Bugiri districts, while 400 more were expected to undergo the same training in Bukwa and Kapchorwa districts.

He said in the programme, girls were taught reproductive health, home economics and the maintenance of marital homes.

Cherukut noted that whereas the practice was declining among the educated in urban areas, it was still thriving in the rural communities in Kapchorwa.

SOURCE: New Vision Online

AUTHOR: Daniel Edyegu

URL: Click here

DATE: 01/12/2009

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