Statement by hon. rukia nakadama isanga the minister of state for gender and cultural affairs on the international day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (fgm)
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Statement by hon. rukia nakadama isanga the minister of state for gender and cultural affairs on the international day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (fgm)

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Statement by hon. rukia nakadama isanga the minister of state for gender and cultural affairs on the international day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (fgm) Statement by hon. rukia nakadama isanga the minister of state for gender and cultural affairs on the international day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (fgm) Document Transcript

  • STATEMENT BY HON. RUKIA NAKADAMA ISANGA THEMINISTER OF STATE FOR GENDER AND CULTURAL AFFAIRSON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE FORFEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM)Fellow Ugandans, February 6 was the International Day of ZeroTolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The day wascommemorated in Nakiloro, Katikekile Sub County in MorotoDistrict.Ladies and Gentlemen, in December 2012, the Third Committee ofthe Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs of the UN GeneralAssembly adopted a landmark Resolution presented by the AfricanUnion calling for:“Intensifying global efforts for the eliminationof female genital mutilations . It also called for increasedefforts towards elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.” Thisled to the declaration of 6th February every year as an ‘InternationalDay for Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.’The UN Declaration calls upon Nation-States, the United NationsSystem, Civil Society Organizations and all stakeholders on thefrontline of promoting empowerment and rights of girls and womento continue observing the day, in a bid to enhance awareness-raising campaigns at the grassroots and come up with communityled interventions to foster abandonment of the practice.The Government of Uganda joins the rest of the world to observethis day to ensure that Female Genital Mutilation does not occur. 1  
  • The global theme for this year is “Translate the Resolution:Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of FGM” and thenational theme is: Zero Tolerance to GBV: Intensify Efforts for theElimination of FGM.”Ladies and Gentlemen, Female Genital Mutilation is a culturalpractice that violates the rights of women and girls. It can cause arange of health problems, both short and long-term includingbleeding, infections, trauma, complications at child birth andincreased risks of Sexually Transmitted Infections includingHIV/AIDS.Whereas in Uganda, FGM is practiced by less than 1% of the totalpopulation, the proportion of the population of women and girlsaffected in FGM practicing communities is as high as 95%. Thepracticing communities of Female Genital Mutilation include theSabiny, Pokot, Kadam, and Tepeth in Sebei, Amudat, Nakapiripiritand Moroto districts respectively. Among the Pokot and Tepethcommunities, girls are cut between the age of 9 and 14, after whichthey are married off to men old enough to be their fathers orgrandfathers. This is not acceptable and violates universal rightsthat govern the health and safety of the lives of children andwomen, as well as their well being including the right to education.It is in light of this that a law was passed in 2010 to provide forprohibition of FGM and punishment of offenders, including theprotection of victims as well as girls and women under threat ofFGM.For the past ten years, Uganda has commemorated this day toadvocate and sensitize the community about the health risksincluding psychological torture as well as abuse of dignity of anindividual that subsequently affect the socio-economic contributionof girls and women in the development of their communities and thenation.The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Gender, Labourand Social Development, in partnership with the development 2  
  • partners including UNFPA/UNICEF Trust Fund and the FrenchEmbassy; Civil Society Organizations namely Reproductive,Educative and Community Health (REACH), POZIDEP, Law Uganda,Moroto Diocese, Pokot and Sabiny Elders Association and other keystakeholders, collectively protect and promote the rights of womenand girls against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This is donethrough various interventions that include: • enactment of a law against FGM, • development of FGM Act Regulations to guide the implementation of the Law on FGM, • development of policy guidelines to facilitate the primary duty bearers with information on how to prevent and respond to FGM cases, • passing of Kapchorwa District Local Government Ordinance(2008) to abolish FGM practice, • development of materials on use of community dialogue for FGM abandonment, • capacity building for all stakeholders to facilitate community dialogues towards abandonment, • creation of networks at various levels to discuss achievements and challenges in the campaign against FGM, • enforcement of the law, • Community awareness campaigns against the harmful practice in form of community dialogue sessions, radio messages, talk shows, community theatre and success stories reported in the media. As a result, there has been intensive community mobilization and some communities particularly among the Sabiny have declared abandonment to the practice of FGM. 3  
  • Furthermore there has been emphasis on education of the girl childwhere Government programs have addressed most of theconstraints to girls’ education. Many stakeholders including FaithBased Organizations that reach the households have done a lotthrough sermons to sensitize the communities on the harmfuleffects of the practice to women and girls as well as to developmentof the nation.Fellow Ugandans, FGM is a deep rooted cultural practice thatrequires concerted efforts to eliminate the vice. I therefore call uponall Ugandans to advocate against Female Genital Mutilation so thatevery girl and woman enjoys their fundamental freedom to liveproductive and healthy lives and hence contribute to thedevelopment of their families, communities and nation.For God and My Country 4