MPs Want Regional Effort on FGM

2240 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Margaret Komuhangi the chairperson of the gender committee said that even with a number of achievements, Uganda still has a challenge with full implementation of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2010.

Legislators sitting on the Gender, Labour and Social Development Committee are demanding for a regional legal framework to curb Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
 
FGM is a cultural ritual practiced in Eastern Uganda mainly among the Sabiny, Pokot and Tepeth communities in the districts of Kapchorwa, Bukwo and Kween and Nakapiripirit.
                        

The practice involves the removal of the clitoris- a sensitive part that serves the purpose of providing sexual pleasure for women.
 
Today, during the gender committee meeting with women parliamentarians from Zimbabwe, the issue came up. The delegation of ten MPs was led by Monica Mutsvangwa, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women's Parliamentary Caucus.
 
Margaret Komuhangi, the chairperson of the gender committee said that even with a number of achievements, Uganda still has a challenge with full implementation of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2010.
 
Reports have in the past highlighted that even after parliament passed the law to curb the vice; cutting of girls in Karamoja and Sebei regions still goes on.
 
The United Nations Children's agency - UNICEF - reported a total of 86 cases in the districts of Karamoja between January and October in 2014 in comparison to 30 cases in 2013.      
 
"The challenge we have with that law is that the practice is cross-cutting; it is practiced in Kenya, so if it is prohibited in Uganda and Kenya is not enforcing very well, you will find some girls sneaking into Kenya to carry out the exercise," said Komuhangi.
 
She cited a need for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to come up with a regional legal frame work on female genital mutilation.
 
//Cue in: "The challenge right...
Cue out:...is not enforcing."//
 
Monica Mutsvangwa, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women's Parliamentary Caucus, appealed to the regional parliament to put up a fight against the practice.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.