Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has outlawed female circumcision, otherwise referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM). Before discussing this political victory, a brief background will be given on FGM. This horrible practice that removes a female’s clitoris and sometimes other parts of her genitals is performed on little girls as young as 2 years of age. The weapons that are used for this practice are usually unsanitary and used on the same women. The women receive no anesthesia for this procedure and feel every inch of pain. What’s even more unbelievable is that females who do not survive this procedure are thought to have been witches deserving of their death. The females who undergo this unspeakable procedure may sometimes hemorrhage to death.
The idea of FGM is pushed into the psyche of these young girls and is forced upon them as a way to be more desirable to men and be considered as a wife. This practice occurs so that the females will not experience sexual gratification, thus lowering the incidence of sex before marriage and adultery in marriage. Some of the consequences of FGM include increased vulnerability to infections and complications during childbirth. It is also important to mention that FGM does not only occur in Africa, it also occurs frequently in some Asian and Middle Eastern cultures as well. Even though FGM is illegal in more than a dozen countries in Africa, laws are seldom imposed to protect females.
The bill prohibiting FGM in Uganda was approved by Uganda’s parliament late night Thursday, December 10th, as reported by Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo. Offenders may receive up to a life sentence.
What does this bill mean? It means than now Ugandan women have a voice against injustice. Their cries have finally been heard and answered. Only time will tell if Ugandan women will actually be protected and kept from harm’s way with this bill. We are watching and will keep you updated on the status of Uganda’s bill outlawing FGM. At last, baby girls, little girls, teenage girls, and adult women will no longer have to suffer like the child below.