Female Genital Mutilation Cases Rise In Ghana
Cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is on the rise in Ghana despite a ban placed on the practice.
This was contained in a UNICEF multiple Indicator Cluster (MICS) Survey in 2007, which puts FGM at 3.8 per cent for women between 15 to 49 years and four per cent for the most recent survey of 2011.
An Act to amend the Criminal Code 1960 (29) to change the reference “Female Circumcision” to “Female Genital Mutilation to reflect the actual nature of the offence, widen the scope of responsibility in relation to the offence and provide for related matters was enacted in 2007.
However, available records show that the practice was on the ascendancy instead of decreasing due to the breakdown of educational and awareness and control programmes in addition to the inability of law enforcers to effectively enforce the laws on FGM.
At a workshop organised by the Ghanaian Association for Women’s Welfare (GAWW), UNICEF also said 125 million girls and women in the world had undergone FGM and approximately three million girls and women were at risk of being subjected to the mutilation every year.
The practice is prevalent in 29 African countries while the three northern regions as well as the Brong Ahafo Region and Zongo communities in some urban centres in Ghana continue to practice the FGM.
The workshop was aimed at deliberating on the situation of FGM in Ghana and to discuss the 2012 United Nations Resolution 67/146 on FGM to help develop a national plan action for the dissemination, domestication and implementation of the resolution.
Madam Alijata Sulemana, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tumu Constituency in the Upper West Region, said FGM continued to cause serious havoc to the lives of many married women, who were either losing their marriages or were experiencing stalled marriages due to their inability to meet their sexual obligation towards their spouses.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the workshop, Madam Sulemana said being a victim of FGM herself, she had been encountering many marital problems in her marriage right through child-birth as well as meeting her conjugal right as a wife, adding that she was more prepared to openly join the campaign to eliminate the practice in Ghana.
“I even wanted to give birth to five children but had to stop at three because of the many serious complications and needless pain I go through during delivery,” she told the GNA.
“FGM is never a good thing, it breaks homes- the most sensitive thing that will make me have sexual contact with my husband is taken out,” the MP said.
Madam Sulemana said all efforts must be put in place to ensure that the practice was eliminated totally from the society, adding various educational and awareness programmes should be embarked upon to sensitize the people on the dangers and harmful effects of FGM was causing to women to make the perpetrators stop the practice.