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Cross-border action required to curb female genital mutilation

Despite it being outlawed in 1994, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is still practiced in Ghana and is prevalent among 5 in every 100 girls.

Kuurima Ibrahim is a victim and survivor of Female Genital Mutilation.

She was cut when she was a one-week-old baby but didn’t know until senior high school.

“We had students from the South, and we saw that theirs was different from ours, so I asked one of my teachers, and she told me I had undergone FGM,” Kuurima revealed.

She said, the violation not only stripped her of dignity but also resulted in numerous health complications.

“I have had to undergo CS three times, because of the birth complications I will suffer due to the cutting”, she said.

She has gained the courage to disclose the heinous act.

“You can repair the clitoris, and now we want govt to help us with cost of the reconstructive surgery, and also take up the campaign again,” she pleaded.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) defines Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as “a practice that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons.”

While the overall national prevalence rate of FGM in Ghana is 4%, studies have shown that the prevalence in the Upper East Region is 38%, with Bawku municipality recording the highest at 82%, in 2018.

Country Director of the UNFPA, Dr. Wilfred Ochan, laments the scarce resources in fighting the menace.

“We need to get those entrenched in the practice to denounce it and get them to understand that there’s no cultural value in it. Govt should provide resources to intensify the fight,” he added.

He has called for a cross-border action plan to tackle the matter.

According to him, “Probably, the practitioners take the women and girls to other countries to perform the rite on them, because it’s prohibited in Ghana, and then bring them back, so we need to increase collaboration at the borders and see how we can come up with a cross border action plan.”

An estimated 200 million women and girls worldwide have undergone FGM, and February 6 is designated as global day for zero tolerance against female genital mutilation every year.

Source: 3news

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