The Parliament of Uganda has called on government to avail funds for the implementation of the Prohibition of the Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2010. The motion presented by the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Hellen Asamo sought to improve efforts to curb female genital mutilation(FGM) in Sebei and Karamoja sub-regions.
“The funds allocated to facilitating implementation of the Act are insufficient, unpredictable and untimely; and this not only impairs actors in the fight against this practice but also exposes people to the risk of a relapse into this practice” said Asamo.
In a sitting of the House Thursday, 06 February 2020, Asamo said that female genital mutilation (FGM) as a cultural practice had remained embedded in the social norms, values and practices of communities.
Asamo called for a sustained campaign under the multi-sectoral framework, with harmonized messages among all stakeholders on top of increased funding to boost implementation.
“The beginning of 20l9 saw a rise in women undergoing female genital mutilation in Sebei, attributed to socio-economic and political causes. This requires a multi-sectoral and multi-pronged approach to eliminate the practice, ”Asamo added. Legislators called for punitive measures on the perpetrators of female genital mutilation.
“When drought occurred in eastern Uganda, it was attributed to girls that had not been cut, and they were all paraded and had to be cut. We are holding these surgeons with kids’ gloves and that is why they continue with the vice,” said Hon. Sarah Opendi (Indep., Tororo District).
Opendi called for the arrest of the surgeons involved and sensitization of man on negativity of FGM and proposed the establishment of a regional (East African Community) law against the practice.
Kinkizi East MP, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi said Government needs to avail more funds to curb the upsurge of FGM in the communities where it is still entrenched.
“For a long time, it has been the UN agencies and civil society organizations putting in resources. It is important that Government puts in more resources to fight this cultural practice,” Baryomunsi said.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was in agreement with the calls for more funding to effective implementation of the law adding that an action plan was needed from local leaders in affected regions on how the practice can be eliminated.
“The Committee on Budget is directed to examine the proposals on increased funding and make some provisions starting this financial year. I expect support from the executive in lobbying for this money,” Kadaga said.
The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2010 that was enacted in March 2010 prohibits the practice and also provides for prosecution and punishment of offenders and the protection of victims as well as girls and women under threat of female genital mutilation.