‘Don’t be intimidated …be proud of resisting FGM’

‘Don’t be intimidated …be proud of resisting FGM’

● Nana Ogyedom Tsetsewa I

Women and girls who have not undergone Female Genital Mutila­tion (FGM) have been advised not to entertain unsavoury comments aimed at making them feel less of women.

They should rather be proud of themselves that they have been able to resist a tra­dition that violates the human rights of women.

The Osumpahen of Go­moa Akyempim Traditional Council in the Central region, Nana Ogyedom Ama Tsetsewa I made the comments in an interview with The Specta­tor on Wednesday towards the International Day of Zero tolerance for FGM scheduled for February 6.

She observed that, there were husbands who even made their wives feel that because they had not un­dergone the procedure of altering their female genitalia as dictated by their commu­nities, they fall short of the qualities of a wife.

Nana Ogyedom Tsetsewa I said such disappointing com­ments had even compelled some wives to undergo the practice and some parents force their daughters to do so.

“Every part of the body was made for a purpose and so was the clitoris and other parts of the female genitalia and so why should they be cut off to complicate the lives of women under the guise of making them clean, faithful or prevent them from being pro­miscuous,” she questioned.

The Osumpahen of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Council said there was there­fore the need to educate the public continuously to spread the message about the dangers of FGM because of its serious health implications on women.

“It is on record that a woman or girl could die in the process especially because little or nothing was done medically to control the pain or loss of blood and sharing of the tools without proper sterilisation transfer diseases from one person to another,” she said.

She called on traditional leaders to talk about the issue at all social gatherings to attract public attention.

She advised religious insti­tutions to be actively involved in the education at places such as churches and mosques to encourage behavioural change.

Nana Ogyedom Tsetsewa I also advocated for frequent public education by the Min­istry for Gender Children and Social Protection, (MGCSP) National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and not treat it as a once in a while event.

“Perpetrators of the act must also be severely pun­ished to serve as a deterrent to others and also handsome rewards given to members of the public who expose the activities of such persons “ she recommended.

She said it was sad that the act was mostly carried out by women and so called on all women to learn to love themselves and also protect one another.

From Dzifa Tetteh Tay, Tema.

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