Monday, September 13, 2010

FGM Violation of Human Rights, Serious Health Consequences

NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA(MB)- Be it known or not known, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a widely
accepted problem for many African girl child. FGM remains a health hazard, and a serious concern for many women activists in the continent i.e Africa.
  Women continue to face the consequences of the practice in numerous ways: it remains one of the main reasons for the high rate of maternal mortality and infant death in many African countries, coupled with
other practices such as early marriage. FGM is a gross violation of human rights.
   The practice of all forms of female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights, and in particular the right to personal integrity, physical and mental health of women and girls, and an assault on their human dignity. All forms of FGM degrade women and girls and deprive them of their basic human rights.
  Women and children have been subjected to discrimination, torture, violence, marginalization above all other harmful practices which are not conforming with the modern education and health best practices.
  Amaenia, is also a complications cause by FGM practice on the girl child, as a result many children loss blood due to profuse which as a result many children meet their death. However, the immediate risk of it includes severe pain, shock, haemorrhage, tetanus, sepsis, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent
genital tissue.
The long term consequences, includes increased risk of maternal morbidity, recurrent bladder and urinary tract infection, cysts, infertility and adverse psychological and sexual consequences, and increased risk of neonatal death for babies to mothers having undergone female genital mutilation.
  Many women in Africa are still faced with the consequences of FGM, and it is important to recognise that many women still live with the effect of FGM,  a practice they had undergone since childhood.
  The suffer in silence thinking that it is their religion that ordains it. Where are the religions leaders ? Can they make it clear to these women about religion aspect of FGM.
  Again, many marriages in Africa, have broken because of the effects of FGM particularly for women with clitoris formation on the external reproductive organ and for others it contributes to complications such
as fistula.
   It's high time for member states to enact and enforce legislations to protect girls and women from all forms of violence, particularly female genital mutilation, and ensure the implementation of laws
prohibiting female genital mutilation by any person, including medical professionals and our traditional women.
   All hands must be put on desk to work with all relevant sectors of government, international agencies and nongovernmental organisations in support of the abandonment of the practice as a major contribution
to attainment of the Millennium Development Goals on promoting gender equality and empowerment of women, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health.
   Efforts towards eliminating all forms of FGM should be intensified both at the grass-roots level as well as within the policy-making process, so as to emphasis the fact the the practice is both a violation of human rights and a gender issue, in particular emphasis should be given to the process of informing and educating the public
on the practice of FGM.
   The prohibition of all forms of FGM should be integrated into broader legislation addressing other issues, including: a penal gender equality, protection from all forms of violence against women and children, women's sexual and reproductive health and rights and children's rights.
  We need to create a favourable environment for the implementation of programs which can serves as a tool for eradicating FGM in many parts of Africa.

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