Government must be firm to end FGM now – Henry Djaba Foundation

Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization has called on government and traditional leaders to implement concrete actions to increase awareness to combat and achieve zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in Ghana.

The foundation made this called when it joined with the United Nations to celebrate the International Day for zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in Africa, which is marked on February 6 every year.

A statement read by the former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba, noted that Female Genital Mutilation is an old cultural practice in some part of Ghana and has had serious health implications on women and girls in various communities for years and yet it is still being practiced.

“We do not intend to condemn or undermine the culture of other people. However, a culture that violates the rights of people is not worth practicing. The practice of FGM has serious implications on the health of women and girls. One has to do with their maternal health which does not affect only the individual, but the nation as a whole. The sad part is that the practice of FGM has no health benefits for girls and women rather expose them to health hazards and psychological trauma.” She noted.

She acknowledged that her Foundation condemns and frowns on the practice of FGM so as the laws of the country.

“We cannot afford to allow our women and girls to be subjected to this risky, life threatening, inhuman, degrading and shameful practice in this country. Women and girls have a right to their sexuality and must be allowed to be who they want to be.

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Again, the law against FGM, Act 741 of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana entitled Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2007 provides for imprisonment and/or fines for both the circumciser and those who request, incite or promote excision by providing money, goods or moral support. The person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than 10 years.” She explained.

The foundation with visions of contributing towards the creation of an equal and equitable society, which respects to the rights and interests of all persons irrespective of gender, social class, religious persuasion or ethnic origins, therefore, urged the Security Agencies and the Judiciary to enforce the law and ensure that people who flout the law against FGM face the full rigors of the law to serve as deterrent to others.

Source: | Moses Apiah | Ghana



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