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UGANDA: Give The Sabiny More Sensitisation

IN just four days of December, 120 girls were circumcised by the Sabiny in what the international community regards as female genital mutilation (FGM). This happened in spite of the new law against FGM.

The Police and community leaders failed to stop it partly because FGM is still treasured by the Sabiny as a cultural practice.

No one should think that enacting a law against FGM would be enough to stamp it out. A lot more is required, mostly in sensitising the masses about the evils of circumcising girls.

Apparently, it is people outside the region who are so bitter and cannot understand how parents can force their children to undergo such an inhuman, brutal and humiliating practice. But to the Sabiny, it is a cultural treasure that has survived generations and entrenched itself in the marrows and fabric of society.

Some women who avoided it earlier, have returned to demand for it because they can’t stand the social stigma. Other girls are running to Kenya to access FGM because it is still legal there.

That means a protracted sensitisation, backed by supportive social structures like easy accessibility to schools, mass media and factors of production, is needed in Bukwo, Kween and Kapchorwa urgently. UNFPA accessed funding for this but has concentrated most of its work outside the region.

Within Sebei there are individuals who have resolved to not subject their daughters to circumcision. Such people should be identified and facilitated to explain to their tribesmates the evils of FGM.

SOURCE: New Vision Online

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DATE: 17/12/2010

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