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Regional News of Thursday, 18 December 2014

Source: starrfmonline.com

Cross-border Female Genital Mutilation rampant in Upper East region


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Traditional authorities in the Upper East region are still fighting the war against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as citizens have devised new ways and strategies by which they can still indulge in the practice six years after it was abolished.

The Paramount Chief of the Kayoro Traditional Area, Pe Oscar Batabi Tiyiamu II, confirmed to Starr News the practice is still ongoing in its worse forms except it is kept under wraps this time.

“It is secretly happening. Most at times, the people who do those things do not even [live] in Ghana. They [live] in the neighbouring countries and they come in, do it and go back out there.”

The Upper West Regional house of chiefs in October 2008 issued a directive abolishing all outmoded cultural practices and beliefs, including FGM and Widowhood Rights, which infringe on the rights of the people as well as undermine their total development.

The directive was in line with a provision in the 1992 Constitution which gave chiefs the mandate to ensure all outmoded cultural practices and beliefs that were inimical as well as dehumanising, be abolished.

Meanwhile, Pe Tiyiamu II told Starr News’ Upper East regional correspondent although they have put in place strict measures to curb the practice, the war may be far from over because parents are sneaking their children into villages in neighbouring Togo and Burkina Faso to have them circumcised by the circumcision doctors in those parts.

According to him, about half the population in the Northern parts of Ghana believe in FGM and this makes it difficult implementing their measures against the practice.

“Some of them even come in the night and do it secretly and they can even take the small, small girls to the border,” he revealed.

Meanwhile, some temporary measures are being adopted by the House of chiefs to get the recent phase of the canker under control.

“We have to deploy our divisional chiefs to keep an eye on those people. That is what we have put in place to nip it down. The earlier we get rid of it the better,” he remarked.

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