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'Okukyalira ensiko' similar to FGM, say lobbyists

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd June 2015 02:40 PM

While for many, it is seen as a way to be more sexually desirable, for others, the culture of okukyalira ensiko, (elongate the labia of a woman) should be condemned in no uncertain terms.

'Okukyalira ensiko' similar to FGM, say lobbyists

While for many, it is seen as a way to be more sexually desirable, for others, the culture of okukyalira ensiko, (elongate the labia of a woman) should be condemned in no uncertain terms.

By Titus Kakembo     
                                                                                                   
While for many, it is seen as a way to be more sexually desirable, for others, the culture of okukyalira ensiko, (elongate the labia of a woman) should be condemned in no uncertain terms.


“Get up and report that ssenga (relationships counsellor) who is forcing kukyalira ensiko to the authorities,” charged Victoria Sekitoleko. “This is tantamount to the dreaded and outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). There are boys and peers making life hard for girls who have not done it.”

“The painful practice is believed to be the formula to (a good) marriage,” lamented Sekitoleko. “The little ones being forced to undergo the pain are aged 12 and are not searching for husbands. When they get old enough, they can then make informed decisions. Okukyalira ensiko can be done even at 40.”

She made the cry during a Let Girls Lead workshop for 36 girls aged between 10 -18 undergoing a public speaking seminar at Spring Hotel in Bugolobi recently.

It comes at a time when pills for enlarging breasts and widening hips are advertised aggressively on radio stations, in the print and social media.

The UN country director Hogan Adoa, said such problems are not a preserve for the girls in Uganda alone, but suffered globally.

“It happens in Guatamala, Malawi, Ethiopia as it does in Uganda, but in different forms,” revealed Adoa. “Please when you go back to your communities, remember to urge the girls to fight such practices that undermine, exploit and deter a girl’s development.”

Let the Girls Lead is investing in 125 girl leaders destined to engage national decision makers, advocate for girls rights and the Girl Declaration and influence the UN’s post-2015 development agenda through direct advocacy and campaigns. 
 
Besides the okukyalira ensiko, there are other practices like FGM practiced by the Sebei, Karimojong and Somali communities. The girls have their private parts tampered with to suit the preference of the men and to curb sexual promiscuity.  

“Conservative folks still do not allow girls to ride bicycles,” lamented the minister of tourism Maria Mutagamba. “I grew up at that time when it was not allowed to ride a bicycle or climb a tree. So I cannot enjoy a ride or have physical exercise on a bike.”

Today, seating astride a bodaboda, putting on trousers and being vocal, by a woman, are still frowned upon in some circles of society. However, girl power is visible as more girls compete for jobs in professions that were a preserve for males.

 

‘Okukyalira ensiko’ similar to FGM, say lobbyists

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