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STOPPING FGM PRACTICE IN GHANA

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of the ancient cultures which has been practised in Africa and Asia for decades.

Folklore has it that the practice of FGM came to Ghana, from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo.

The FGM is often performed upon young girls using crude methods such as knives and blades which often exposed the victims to health hazards and psychological trauma.

It is said to cause severe bleeding and later urinary problems which can develop into complications in children as well as increase risks of fistula during child birth.

It is for these reasons that, FGM has been recognised internationally as a human right violation of girls and women.

In particular, it is recognised as a violation against the right of health, physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruelty, in human treatment and the right to live, where, it results in death.

In recognition of the harmful effect of FGM on girls and female adults, Ghana in 2011 abolished the practice and although there has been a considerable reduction in FGM in many communities the practice still persist in some parts of the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Volta regions, as well as Zongo communities in certain urban centres of the country.

According to the Upper East Regional Director of Children, Mrs Georgina Aberese-Ako, a research conducted recently revealed that, FGM was still prevalent in districts sharing borders with neighbouring countries such as Burking Faso, Togo, Mali and Niger.

This is completely unacceptable because not only is the practice outlawed, its practise has many disadvantages and needed to be stopped completely.

For instance, apart from the excessive bleeding and the spread of infectious diseases, girls who go through the practice often had painful childbirth.

Besides, it is known to be a major threat to maternal health and infant mortality in the country.

It is for these reasons that the Ghanaian Times calls on all stakeholders including the law enforcement agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and community based organisations to intensify their public education in communities where the practice is ongoing with the aim of bringing it to an end.

In addition, there is the need for awareness creation among religious and community leaders and the youth to report to the authorities FGM practitioners in their communities who continue to indulge in the practice.

Many years after the abolition of the practice, it is completely unacceptable that the practice is ongoing in the country.

We urge the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to take steps to enforce the law by banning such practices in their communities.

STOPPING FGM PRACTICE IN GHANA

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