U/W Region: 16% Of Girls Aged Between 15-19 Victims Of FGM Says UNFPA

The United Nations Population Fund, an international development agency, has pledged unflinching commitment to protect Ghanaian females against the practice of having their genitals mutilated.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in a press statement, bemoaned the practice and culture where women and girls are compelled by tradition to undergo any form of mutilation of their clitoris.

According to the UNFPA, Female Genital Mutilation is still prevalent in some parts of the country and if not averted, denies women and girls the right to life and equal opportunity with dignity and respect.

A report by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on Female Genital Mutilation released last year indicated that while “Ghana national average (4% of Ghanaian girls and women between 15-49 have gone through the practice) is lower than many other countries, the actual numbers still translate to several hundred thousand women and girls. The report cites the Upper West region, as the region that practices the most FGM/C is (16% of all girls aged 15-19 years have been cut).”

In view of this, the UNFPA has implored Ghanaians to strongly oppose the practice but give “every young Ghanaian girl the right to fulfill her human potential, free from coercion, harm or violence.”

“FGM/C (Female Genital Mutilation/cutting) poses devastating short- and long-term consequences for the health of women and girls. It is imperative that we protect them, provide support to those who have been subjected to this brutal practice and address the adverse sexual and reproductive health consequences they suffer.” the statement further read.

The United Nations Population Fund has therefore assured the citizenry that the organization will protect “human rights, including the rights of young people, especially adolescent girls in the country. We believe that when they can claim their right to health, including access to sexual and reproductive health, to education and to decent work, they become powerful agents for social and economic development…

“We can further accelerate its abandonment and strengthen the momentum for change through our concerted and collective efforts.”

UNFPA Ghana is one of the agencies of the United Nations that supports the Government of Ghana, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations to implement Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender Equality and Population and Development programmes at national, regional and Municipal/District levels for the welfare and progress of the Ghanaian family.