Eradicate Female Genital Mutilation – Gender Minister 

Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection has called on stakeholders to collaborate effectively with the Ministry to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Ms Djaba said the practice of mutilating any part of the labia minora within the vagina of a female was an ancient culture that had no benefit to society now and added that it was act of torture and brought psychological trauma to the victims.

Mrs Djaba described FGM as murderous act that parents should discourage and insisted that the health hazards posed by the act was enormous and should not be encouraged, saying, it was time to end such inhuman activity.

The Minister said this while addressing a durbar at Pusiga in the Upper East Region on Female Genital Mutilation organised by the Gender Ministry to educate parents, women and girls about the dangers associated with the practice.

She urged parents and guardians to desist from the act because it was criminal by law and unacceptable and therefore warned its perpetrators to put a stop or risk being prosecuted.

The Minister also called on the media, especially those operating in the region to use their medium to educate members of the public to be alert and report any such untoward actions in connection with perpetrating the act.

Mr Abdulai Jaladeen, Regional Director at the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in the Upper East Region said the law was clear on FGM as a criminal offence and a second degree felony which imposed stiffer punishment on offenders.

He said “whosoever exercised, infibulates or otherwise mutilates the whole or any part of the labia minora, and the clitoris of another person commits an offence and shall be guilty of a second degree felony and liable on conviction to imprisonment of not less than four years and not more than 10 years under section 69A (1) article 29 of 1960.”

Mr Jaladeen stated that the 1992 constitution indicated under article 26(2) that “all customary practices that dehumanises or are injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a person are prohibited”, and said FGM was an injurious act to the physical and mental well-being of women and girls in society that made it criminal.

He mentioned that the preamble to the United Nations Charter set its basic goal to reaffirm faith in the fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women.

Mr Jaladeen urged them to end it as the criminal code sought to enhance the protection of women and girls by providing laws against rape, defilement, cruel widowhood rites, and FGM among others.

Source: GNA

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