General News of Wednesday, 6 February 2019
Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Cynthia Mamle Morrison has charged all and sundry to do everything humanly possible to ensure that the gruesome act of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which is being meted out to our women and children particularly young girls in the country be put to a permanent end.
She averred that ending the “barbaric practice” in Ghana is the responsibility of all and sundry therefore the fight to eradicate it must be addressed holistically through a national crusade from the national to the community levels.
“All of us should get involved and act in own small way towards ending the practice in Ghana”.
Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison conveyed this message through her latest press release copied to the media as Ghana joins the world to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which falls on today Wednesday, February 6, 2019.
The commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) day is celebrated on every February 6, annually and globally as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation.
Female Genital Mutilation is one of the ancient cultures which has been practised in Africa and Asia for decades.
In Ghana, some parts of the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Brong Ahafo and the Volta Regions including the Zongo Communities in certain urban centers of the country are notable places where the practice still goes on. It is clear that the adoption of this cultural practice of FGM has not served any good purpose in our country. Culture that violates the rights of the people is not worth practising.
Studies show that an estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women in the world today have
undergone some form of FGM and two million girls are at risk from the practice each year. Studies also indicate that in Ghana, the prevalence in the 1990s was as high as 77% but reduced drastically due to the advocacy and sensitization that has gone on. It is therefore regrettable that the practice is still ongoing undercover despite the numerous campaigns and education over the past years.
The current national prevalence is about four per cent (4%) but regional prevalence, especially in
some parts of Northern, Upper East and West regions could be higher due to some reports on FGM cases in some communities.
To this end, the Gender Minister urges all Ghanaians to come out strongly and condemn the practice as well as intensify public community- based awareness campaigns against FGM.
“We as a community of Ghanaians must demonstrate our commitment to protect our women and
girls from human rights abuses to eliminate all forms of violence against them”
“FGM is a key target under the Sustainable Development Goal 5, so the need to consolidate the gains made and intensify the fight” she stressed.
Mrs. Cynthia Morrison also charged the law enforcement agencies not to hesitate in prosecuting anyone caught in the act adding, “because the law against FGM, ACT 741 of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana entitled Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2007, provides for imprisonment and/or fines for both the circumciser and those who request, incite or promote excision by providing money, goods or moral support”.
The Minister in her concluding message reminded all Ghanaians not to tolerate the practice of FGM to prevail among them for any reason, at any time or place.
The 1992 constitution of Ghana, Article 15 states that ‘the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable’ and that no person shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or any other condition that detracts or is likely to detract from his or her dignity and worth as a human being.
Article 26 (2) prohibits all customary practices that dehumanize or are injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a person’ and Article 28 (3) further states that no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Particularly relevant to FGM, Article 39(2) obliges the state to ensure that traditional practices which are injurious to the health and well-being of the person are abolished.