Karamoja Stands Up Against Female Genital Mutilation
Karamoja declear female genital mutilation (FGM/C) zero tolerance
The communities in karamoja region have publicly declared zero tolerance to female genital mutilation (FGM/C) making increased number of girls and women seek for support when at risk of victims of FGM/C.
At least 100% of women in Karamoja and 88% in Bukuo Sebei region have declared of female genital mutilation (FGM/C) to be discontinued with over 83 villages declaring FGM/C abandonment due to its painful consequences.
FGM/C involves or refers to total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons, and has existed in practicing communities in Uganda since pre-colonial time.
Different types of FMG are mainly practiced by particular groupings, which in cloud the Sabiny in Kapcworwa, Bukwo,Kween districts the Pokot,Tepeth and Kadama in Nakapiripirit, Amudat and Moroto district. also the genital elongation is carried out by Buganda which is sometimes referred to as female genital modification making prevalence rate of FGM/C at 1.4%(DHS 2011) with highest rate among Pokot nearing 95%.
The Pokot and the Tepeth undertake FGM in two seasons in july and in December, where’s the Sabiny Cary out FGM at any time of the year at the age of nine years old.
This continuous barbaric act has continuously left cut women in pain when giving birth and men running away from victims of FGM something that has irritated the community to realize the dangers of FGM to girls and women hence making women, church leaders, political leader community and other stake holders to declare no more FGM as the victims testify.
Rev. Can.Jane Chory a priest serving in the Anglican church of Uganda also a Pokot resident of Napao village in Amudat say she managed to escape the cutting because her mother was Christian who wanted her to be in church all the time.
She says her mother brought her up knowing education is important in a society which kept her away from discussing issues of cutting with the other girls and elders.
She says there are many things girls do to prepare them for the act. She advised the community of Pokot to embrace education.
She also noted that now girls are willing to go to school but parents discourage them from schooling.
Amudat district has about 11 primary schools in the al district making it hard for the few who are willing to study ignore.
Loru Moses King the community development officer and also the FGM/C focal point person in Moroto say most people in karamoja practice FGM for I identity and name calling
He says people in karamoja prefer certain names like first girl in the family to be mutilated will be called Caporate for the mothers to be proud when called.
However George Mubiru the project coordinator Psycho social organization (TPO) an NGO funded by UNICEF says their focus is to ensures that children are protected.
He says they have put community education to ensure children are safe and how to protect their children from such act.
Meanwhile the of state for gender and culture Hon Peace Mutuuzo at the commemorating of zero tolerance day in Kalas Girls play ground in Amudat district appealed to all stake holders of karamoja to continue sensitizing the indigenous communities about the dangers of FGM/C ad involve them in the fight against the vice.
She says her expectation is to see that communities will move towards building critical mass that is necessary to fast track the abandonment of FGM/C.
Mutuuzo says there is also need to sustain funding for FGM /C abandonment interventions by integration FGM/C activities into district and sub county plans as well as other existing government programs such as operation wealth creation to enhance households income.
She warned the surgeons who are still continuing to hide behind culture to desist from it because marriage cannot be without that component.’