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Thursday,August 13,2020 18:13 PM

BIG READ: Wives for hire

By Admin

Added 4th March 2020 02:06 PM

The hired women, often separated or unmarried, get to dance and dine with the guests... throughout the night

BIG READ: Wives for hire

The hired women, often separated or unmarried, get to dance and dine with the guests... throughout the night

BIG READ
 
 
The desire for prestige among the Sebei is now being blamed for the increase in Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  
 
During the circumcision of a boy, his parents invite a chief guest, called Pasuben
 
He serves as the boy's godfather and is given authority to make decisions during the circumcision ceremony. 
 
Such a person is highly regarded and respected. 
 
However, the Pasuben cannot turn up with his wife if she has not undergone FGM. She is not allowed at the circumcision scene. 
 
So, men who are invited as Pasuben are now hiring women who have undergone FGM to accompany them to cultural male circumcision ceremonies, the Kapchorwa district community development officer, Carolyn Chetoek, has revealed.
 
The hired women, often separated or unmarried, get to dance and dine with the guests throughout the night ceremony to the discomfort of their wives at home.  
 
"Women want to protect their marriages and also be able to accompany their husbands for ceremonies where they have been invited as chief guests," Cheptoek said. "So they are secretly going for FGM."
 
She made the revelation recently while addressing grassroots FGM-affected women and anti-FGM advocates, who had turned up for training at Manshia Hotel in Kapchorwa town.
 
The anti-FGM activists and FGM victims were brought together by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) to be trained in the carrying out of the anti-FMG campaign in the region.
 
Cheptoek said for fear of unmutilated married women losing their husbands to mutilated ones, they are forced to undergo secret genital mutilation at an older age so that they can qualify to accompany their husbands to functions.
 
Irene Cheptoek from anti-FGM grandmothers in Kaptanyi sub-county, said: "The challenge that comes with hiring mutilated women is that they are allowed to dance through the night and end up snatching the unmutilated women's partners."
 
Sarah Nakhumista, the head of the regional UHRC, said they are training foot soldiers, who will sensitise communities about the dangers of FGM, which is a form of human rights abuse.
 
Nakhumista asked the Government and local leaders in Sebei and Karamoja regions to address the issue of Pasuben guests and cross-border movements in order to curb FGM in Uganda.
 
She said previously, FGM was not practised in Uganda, but due to the cross-border movements, it was adopted by the communities on the Uganda side. 
 
She added that despite efforts to curb the vice in Uganda, girls are sent to Kenya, where they are circumcised.
 
"Female circumcision was not part of our culture. It was imported from Kenya," Nakhumista said.
 
She commended the local surgeons who gave up carrying out the practice and promised to support them to start other income-generating activities.
 
Nakhumista said FGM is a violent practice, which scars women and girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their fundamental human rights and the opportunity to reach their full potential.
 

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