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Women Rights Defenders Raise Concerns over FGM Persistence

Speaking to several women rights defenders at Imperial Botanical beach in Entebbe on Thursday, Margaret Kulaba, the chairperson of the Human rights defenders network says the practice has for long been a threat to the future of the girl child.
Women Human Rights Defenders and other government officials

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Women rights defenders have raised concerns over the unending Female Genital Mutilation-FGM in Eastern Uganda.

The rights defenders have been meeting different stakeholders including the United Nations office of the Human Rights and the Uganda Human Rights Commission.

The United Nations estimates that about 200 million girls worldwide have undergone the practice.

Speaking to several women rights defenders at Imperial Botanical beach in Entebbe on Thursday, Margaret Kulaba, the chairperson of the Human rights defenders network says the practice has for long been a threat to the future of the girl child.

The International, Legal and Social Affairs Department head at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Martinez Mangusho says the practice has been in place only because a combination of mitigation measures have not been adopted so as to end the vice. 

Some of the measures Martinez suggests is involving men in sensitization against FGM.

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The FGM Act 2010 provides for the prohibition of FGM, the offences, prosecution and punishment of offenders and protection of victims as well as girls and women under threat of FGM and other related matters.

 

It provides that a person who carries out FGM is liable on conviction to imprisonment not exceeding ten years, while in the event of causing death to the victim the person is liable to life imprisonment for aggravated FGM.


Patricia Achan, a commissioner at the Uganda Human Rights Commission says for FGM to end, women rights activists need to create alliances with several government agencies to punish all those engaging in the practice.

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Currently, a human rights defender’s desk has been instituted at the Uganda Human rights commission to handle among other issues vulnerabilities relating to women such as that of Female Genital Mutilation. 

In January, the United Nations sent a fact-finding team to Eastern Uganda to investigate a surge in the number of women and girls undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM).

 

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