Leaders in Amudat Sub County in Amudat district are appealing to residents to abandon Female Genital Mutilation, a ritual that involves the removal of the external genitalia of girls for non-medical reasons.
Although outlawed in Uganda in 2009, the cultural ritual is still practiced among the Pokot, Sabiny and Tepeth tribes in the districts of Kapchorwa, Kween, Amudat and Bukwo in the Karamoja Sub Region.
Speaking at the ninth Pokot Cultural Day held in Nangorosowon Primary School in Amudat Sub County, Friday, the district chairman Francis Kiyonga said they have resolved to intensify the battle against FGM. He says the move is aimed at saving girls, who are often exposed to health complications as a result.
Kiyonga adds that FGM was still a huge challenge in the district saying it is time to ensure it's eliminated in the communities once and for all. He appeals to the communities to embrace good cultures that build morals of the people.
The head of UN's children's agency-UNICEF in Eastern Uganda, Rebecca Kwagala says genital mutilation continues to be dangerous to girls in the Pokot and Sebei areas.
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Rose Nawat, the women representative for Amudat district observes a need to sustain the achievements in the fight against FGM. She asks the parents to ensure children are sent to school to attain education.
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Uganda banned the practice in 2009 with a law that imposed harsh penalties for participation in the practice of FGM. 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 victim's infection with HIV/AIDS.