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9-12% of Ghanaian women underwent FGM
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General News of Friday, 27 July 2007

Source: GNA

9-12% of Ghanaian women underwent FGM

Kumasi, July 27, GNA- Rural Help Integration, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) providing reproductive health care services, has estimated that between nine and 12 per cent of Ghanaian female population had undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The finding was as a result of a recent study by the NGO to assess the impact of FGM practice on Ghanaian women.

The research which was funded by the UNPF further established that the practice was mainly motivated by traditional beliefs and misconception about women.

It indicated that the practice which could result in excessive bleeding and death of infant victims, also affected victim's sensitivity to sex in adult life.

Madam Renee Bernard, a Human Rights Activist, disclosed this at a sensitization workshop on Women's Rights organized by Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), an NGO for media personnel in the Ashanti Region, in Kumasi on Thursday.

She said the FGM was most prevalent in the Upper East and Upper West Regions, particularly communities with the Northern extraction. Madam Bernard said in the practice was also prevalent among migrants from the North-Eastern and North-Western parts of Ghana, Mali, Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso.

She expressed worry that in spite of the amendment of the criminal code to criminalise FGM, many women continued to be subjected to the outmoded practice.

Madam Bernard, therefore, appealed to the media to campaign against FGM and other abuses against women in order to raise their self-esteem. Madam Alice Botchway, Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Women of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, said there was the need to ensure the participation of women at all levels of decision-making and implementation of development policies and programmes to raise their standards of living.

Mr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaah, Executive Secretary of the Centre for Human Rights and Advanced Legal Research, called for the integration of gender sensitization and human rights education at all levels of education towards the improvement of the country's human rights.

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