We were in Kamengo Village for our May 2012 Farmer Engagement Training. Over 50 farmers turned up for the workshop. Farmers had an opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and interact with our permaculture expert. A team from our new partners GlobeMed were in Lyantonde visiting and also had an opportunity to visit our community.
As I wrote this article, two men behind me
were arguing whether restoration on term limits in the Uganda constitution is a
violation of human rights of those that voted for it and each other had strong
reasons. Anyways, let me share with you the worst of women’s rights violation; I
think worse than the video clip I watched on NTV, a police officer “massaging” breasts
of a female activist.
Has of us thought how it feels to lose part of
your body? I am one person who fears having someone else cut my finger nails. I
do it myself January to December. That’s why I found it hard not to write this
short article about Female Genital Mutilation.
FGM is recognized internationally
as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted
inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination
against women. An
estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women in the world today have undergone
some form of female genital mutilation, and 2 million girls are at risk from
the practice each year. The great majority of affected women live in
sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda facts from Sabiny,
Pokot and Tepeth communities who practice are shocking. The Sabiny believe it
is an essential rite of passage that will enhance a girl’s chastity and chances
Our East African neighbours are worse off. In
Kenya, FGM is believed to one of the major contributors of early maternal
mortality and child death. The practice has remained highest among the Somali,
Kisii, Kuria ,and Maasai. In Tanzania the most affected areas include Arusha,
Kilimamnjaro, Dodoma, Singida, Mara, Morogoro regions, Iringa, Mbeya, and
Zanzibar. In some communities
mentioned above, Female Genital Mutilation is regularly being performed on
girls as young as seven and eight so as to go unnoticed while other communities
cutting baby girls is done secrecy when they are a few days old.
The passing of the Prohibition of Female
Genital Mutilation Bill made female genital mutilation in Uganda a criminal
offense. In 1998 the Tanzania Government criminalized Female Genital Mutilation,
Kenya has similar legislation against Female genital Mutilation. However, many
citizens in East Africa remain unaware of the Bills and laws and continue the
practice of Female Genital Mutilation.
No health benefits, only harm
FGM has no health benefits, and it
harms girls and women in many ways. In the great majority of cases it involves the
excision of the clitoris and the labia minora. At its most extreme, the
procedure entails the excision of almost all the external genitalia and the
stitching up of the vulva to leave only a tiny opening. Whatever form it takes,
Female Genital Mutilation is a
violation of the human rights of girls and women; and it is a grave threat to
Immediate complications can include severe pain,
shock, hemorrhage (bleeding), tetanus or sepsis (bacterial infection), urine
retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital
tissue. Long-term consequences can include:recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections, cysts,
infertility and an increased risk of childbirth
complications and newborn deaths.
Every day , Uganda media writes about
people’s wishes they want government to fulfill as Uganda makes 50 years of
independence; restoration of term limits, stop police brutality, more
accountability and transparency. My wish is one and simple, government needs to
take firm action against Female Genital Mutilation.