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The anti FGM movement is winning

By Admin

Added 7th February 2018 12:10 PM

February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

Umarweswala 703x422

Umar Weswala is the founder of www.thecommunityagenda.com

February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

By Umar Weswala

February 6 is International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

On this Day of 2018; I am glad to be one of the media practitioners who have reported widely on FGM in Uganda. Since 2014 when UNFPA Uganda started engaging me as a reporter, I have not only become more knowledgeable about the practice and what is being done to eliminate it; I have also seen the practice reduce in places that were previously categorised as ‘FGM hotspots’.

One of these hotspots is Riwo Sub County in Bukwo District. Others include Tumboboi in Kapchorwa and and Kaproron Sub county in Kween District – Sebei Sub Region.

In Karamoja Sub Region, pro-FGM elders in Amudat District admitted that the FGM spirits/gods are angry at the high rate at which FGM is reducing.

I am greatly encouraged by the courage of the growing number of girls and young women in the FGM affected communities who are openly denouncing the practice.  

I have listened to Sabiny girl telling FGM to get out of Sabiny land in a poem. I have met a Pokot girl, the best 2016 PLE candidate in Amidat District, who survived FGM because she was at school.

I have also watched 60 year old Sabiny women run a distance of ten kilometers to show solidarity with the anti FGM campaign. This was during the annual marathons held in Sebei Sub region since 2015.

I have seen FGM cutters not only denounce the practice but hand over their blades to a team of UN and DFID officials.

I have also seen Ms. Jane Frances Kuka shake hands with an elder who in the 1990s issued a directive that she be cut by force.

I have seen religious leaders from all faiths jointly denouncing FGM as the work of Satan.

I have spoken to Sabiny and Pokot men who claim that after careful scrutiny, they rather marry uncut women. 

All the Sabiny and Pokot girls I have spoken to, do not want to be cut. All the mothers I have interviewed have vowed never to subject their daughters to FGM.

Police personnel in Sebei and Amudat have shared with me positive stories following the enforcement of the 2010 FGM/C Act.

Lastly but not least, I have seen strong commitment from UNFPA, UNICEF and the government of Uganda towards eliminating FGM by 2030.

I can therefore confidently state that from my own assessment, FGM in Uganda is standing on its last legs. The anti FGM movement is winning.

The writer is the founder of www.thecommunityagenda.com

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