Ghana observes zero tolerance for FGM day

Ms. Otiko Djaba, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection-designate

Ms. Otiko Djaba, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection-designate

Mrs. Justina Asamoah, a Gender Activist has advocated dialogue and empowerment of communities to act collectively to end Female Genital Multilation (FGM).
This she said would help eliminate FGM and the deep rooted inequality between the two sexes.
“It will also empower institutions tasked to execute FGM laws to effectively implement strategies that would ensure the eradication of the practice,” she stated.
Mrs. Asamoah made these remarks in an interview with The Ghanaian Times on the occasion of this year’s celebration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM.
It is on the theme “Building a solid and interactive bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate ending FGM by 2030.”
According to her, FGM was one of the major negative cultural practices that violated the fundamental human rights of girls and women and also had serious health implications on them.
“This practice tramples upon the rights to health, security and physical integrity, to be free from torture and cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment and their right to life when the procedure results in death of victims”, she added.
About 20,000 girls and women in the country, she noted were estimated to have undergone some form of FGM and a further 1,000 at risk of the practice each year.
She explained that if the current trends continued, about 10,000 girls would be subjected to it by the end of 2030.
She said the three northern regions records the most FGM cases with victims between the ages of 15 and 49.
Philip Larbi, a psychologist said, the act was one of the major causes of maternal death among women.
She said, FGM continues to cause a serious problems in the lives of married women, who are losing their husbands due to inability to meet their sexual obligation towards them.
A victim who spoke to this Reporter on condition of anonymity said she had been encountering many marital problems in her life including child birth as well as meeting her conjugal right as a wife.
‘I wanted to give birth to five children but had to stop at three due to many serious complications and needless pain I go through during delivery,” she said.
She urged the government to put in efforts to ensure that the practice was eliminated totally from the society, adding that various educational and awareness programmes should be embarked upon to sensitise the people on the dangers and harmful effects of FGM.

 

By Benedicta Folley

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