Ugandan girls mutilated from hospitals in Kenya and South Sudan

What you need to know:

  • The inhuman act is viewed as a pathway from childhood to adulthood, so that girls can be married off
  •  FGM prevalence rate is still high in Karamoja and Sebei sub-regions.  Although Uganda has been able to reduce the prevalence rate from 1.4 percent in 2011 to 0.3 percent in 2016 at the national level, the practice is high with Karamoja at 50 percent and Sebei at 20 percent.

Ugandan girls and women are being mutilated from hospitals in the neighbouring Kenya and South Sudan, a senior government official has revealed.
The World Health Organisation defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. 
The inhuman act is viewed as a pathway from childhood to adulthood, so that girls can be married off.

The State Minister for Gender and Culture, Ms Peace Regis Mutuuzo, says some girls and women from Karamoja and Sebei sub-regions sneak into Kenya and South Sudan to secretly undergo medical mutilation.

In Uganda, FGM is a cultural practice among ethnic groups such as the Sabiny in Kapchorwa, Bukwo, and Kween districts, and the Pokot, Tepeth and Kadam in Nakapiripirit and Amudat districts.
Ms Mutuuzo said she got to know about the horrible stories of medicalised mutilation last year in September when she led a delegation of legislators for a field mission in the FGM practising districts. 

She said the evidence gathered from survivors and duty bearers necessitates sustainable funding against the practice.  
Ms Mutuuzo made the remarks while briefing journalists about this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation at the Uganda Media Centre yesterday.
She said whereas some girls and women were voluntarily seeking medical mutilation, others were being mutilated against their will during child birth.

“Medicalised genital mutilation is not happening in Uganda. It is happening in the neighbouring countries. Those who want to practice their culture thinking they are going to do it under safe environments travel to medical facilities either in Kenya or South Sudan,” she said.
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is commemorated in February every year. However, Uganda will be observing this day today and the national celebrations will be held in Kapchorwa under the theme: “Accelerating investment at all levels to end Female Genital Mutilation”.

Prevalence
 FGM prevalence rate is still high in Karamoja and Sebei sub-regions.  Although Uganda has been able to reduce the prevalence rate from 1.4 percent in 2011 to 0.3 percent in 2016 at the national level, the practice is high with Karamoja at 50 percent and Sebei at 20 percent.

‘‘We still have a lot to do to make FGM history by 2030,” Ms Mutuuzo said, adding that the situation is worse in countries such as Ethiopia and Somalia where the prevalence stands at 98 percent. 

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