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Opinions of Sunday, 30 July 2006

Columnist: Agyeman, Ransford K.

Is Barbaric Practice - Over 300m Africans take to F.G.M

Over three hundred million Africans are currently in bed with Female Genital Mutilation (F.G.M). The practice is so heinous that most Africa countries particularly those in sub-Sahara cannot do without it as young girls are forcefully circumcise all the time against their will power.

This was disclosed by the executive director of Ghana Association of Women Welfare (GAWW), Florence Ali during a day’s sensitization workshop on FGM held at Agyeiwaa Hotel, Techiman.

According to the executive director, Ghana alone accounts for 5% of FGM cases, adding that authorities will not relent in their efforts to protect the rights of innocent girls. She quoted article 26 of the 1992 constitution, saying, the FGM is against the fundamental human rights of victims, describing it is barbaric attitude that should be condemned outright by all humanitarian bodies operating in Ghana. She said plans are far ahead for the nation’s supreme law making body, the legislature to pass a law that would prevent people from practicing FGM and other forms of inhuman acts.

The executive director assured the participants that, currently the bill is before parliament and prayed that it becomes a recognized law in Ghana. She took the opportunity to appeal to Members of Parliament (MPs) to expedite action on the bill. Mrs. Ali reiterated that if the bill is giving the expected response the maximum sentence for culprits will be three yeas, revealing, other parties involved are also likely to serve less than three years prison term. The northern, upper east and west regions were named as areas well noted for F.G.M activities.

On her part, the Brong Ahafo regional director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Halimatu Nuhu said F.G.M as a negative cultural practice has adverse effect on the health of victims. Mrs Nuhu pointed out that it should be seen as criminal offence and called on all women related Non Profit Making Bodies to join the crusade against it.


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