Saturday, December 12, 2009

Uganda bans female genital mutilation

CNN reports on an amazing piece of good news from Uganda:

The Ugandan parliament unanimously passed a bill banning female genital mutilation, a traditional rite that has sparked an international outcry and is practiced in some African and Asian communities.
The practice, which involves cutting off a girl's clitoris, is also called female circumcision. In some communities in eastern Uganda, it is practiced in girls up to age 15.
Convicted offenders face 10 years in prison, but if the girl dies during the act, those involved will get a life sentence, according to officials in the east African country.
"A majority of Ugandans felt it is a disgusting act, but you have to remember that this is a cultural belief that has been practiced for generations," said Fred Opolot, the government spokesman. "That's what took the bill so long to pass."
Human rights activists have decried the practice, which they say poses major health risks for girls and may lead to death. It also causes complications during sex and child birth, activists say.

More on the bad news from Uganda here and here.
A proposed anti-gay law could make Uganda perhaps the most dangerous place for homosexuals and drive the gays of Uganda further underground. In a rare interview, the first of its kind with a newspaper journalist, a lesbian told Saturday Monitor’s Rodney Muhumuza why she is very scared.


Grandmère Mimi said...

The banning of genital mutilation is altogether a good thing. I should not be so pessimistic, but I wonder if the practice will continue, only now underground.

Ann said...

I think the tide is turning on this practice.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

The Ugandan parliament unanimously passed a bill banning female genital mutilation--

It´s a great start at the Parliament of Uganda...I feel more hopeful each day that honorable and justice seeking issues will be addressed to help the oppressed, exploited, marginalized, demonized and all of the abused of Uganda.

Elizabeth said...

Definitely a good news, bad news situation. It is great news that female genital mutilation will be illegal. Yes, it will probably continue underground, but fewer involved and hopefully eventually die out. Some women suffer dreadful side effects of the surgery. The story of the lesbian couple is heartbreaking. They aren't hurting anyone, but are ministering to others. The American religious right have a lot to atone for!

metras said...

"A majority of Ugandans felt it is a disgusting act": at least, that's what they told the pollsters. (JCF is cynical)

JCF said...

OK, that's weird. :-0 [Why are my words attached to someone else's ID?]

Ann said...

that is strange JCF