URN reports that girls as young as 12 and above are eluding legal frameworks including law enforcement by sneaking for to cut themselves in small groups before the parents finally find them a specialist to complete the procedure.
Speaking to several women rights defenders at Imperial Botanical beach in Entebbe on Thursday, Margaret Kulaba, the chairperson of the Human rights defenders network says the practice has for long been a threat to the future of the girl child.
The gangs are reportedly backed by a number of politicians and Community leaders determined to counter the law against Female Genital Mutilation. Over one hundred girls have been forced into FGM in Kween District.
After cutting the girls , Surgeons are often given different gifts including money from the parents or from the mutilated girls themselves. This monetary benefit is reported to be one of the reasons why the outlawed vice is thriving.
Some members of the Pokot in Amudat district are adjusting to life without practising female genital mutilation or FGM, a treasured cultural practice in their community. Out of the 225 villages practising FGM in Karamoja, 96 have publicly abandoned the practice. In Amudat, 34 villages have since been declared FGM free.
Although FGM was declared illegal by an act of parliament, the practice, which involves altering the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, remains prevalent among the Pokot, Sabiny and Tepeth tribes in the districts of Kapchorwa, Kween, Amudat and Bukwo, among others, in eastern Uganda.
The practice which involves altering the female genitalia for non-medical reasons was outlawed in Uganda in 2010 with a law that imposed harsh penalties for perpetrators. The law provides for a 10 year jail sentence for any person convicted of practicing FGM and life imprisonment for incidences that lead to death, disability or result in the victims infection with HIV/AIDS.
Margaret Komuhangi the chairperson of the gender committee said that even with a number of achievements, Uganda still has a challenge with full implementation of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2010.
Ensuring girls stay in school could boost the developing world economy by 21 billion shillings a year according to a new United Nations study. Girls are less likely than boys to complete schooling and more likely to face forced marriage, child labour, female genital mutilation and other undermining practices.
The guidelines also highlight the need for more research to improve evidence-based practice, so that health workers can better manage the complications arising from FGM, and the health community is better informed about the associated health risks, which also can contribute to effectively work towards the elimination of this harmful practice.
Pupil enrollment in primary schools in Moroto district was projected at 19,091 this year. However, only 7,366 children have been registered since the beginning of the first term in February. Katikekile Sub County recorded the least number of learners with 847 pupils. Of these only 317 are girls.
Uganda banned the practice in 2009 with a law that imposed harsh penalties for participation in the practice of FGM. The report also shows that girls 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut, with the highest prevalence of FGM among this age in Gambia at 56 percent, Mauritania 54 percent and Indonesia where around half of girls aged 11 and younger have undergone the practice.
The campaign dubbed, national Campaign on Adolescent Girls, will be launched next week on the International Day of the Girl Child IDGC, a day designated for promoting the rights of girls and addressing the unique challenges they face.
Although Ugandan law makes it a crime to carry out FGM, the ritual is still practiced mostly in parts of Karamoja sub region and among the Kupsabiny communities in Kapchorwa district. Mutilated girls have their external female genitalia partially or totally removed for non-medical reasons.
Court heard that on the July 8, 2014, at around 3.00pm Nakong Nakuwam met five girls at a borehole and guided them to a surgeon based at Maya kraal owned by one Louise Apanailon. The girls were cut after they presented some porridge and local brew to the surgeon for rituals as acceptance. Then on July 10, 2014 two more girls were also mutilated.
The Summit is aimed at mobilizing domestic and international efforts to end female genital mutilation and child early and forced marriage within a generation. Currently in Uganda one percent of the total population has undergone Female Gential mutilation.