A baby girl screams in pain as she's being circumcised

A baby girl screams in pain as she?s being circumcised

The Ghana Association of Women?s Welfare (GAWW) has called for support from the government and agencies to help stop the spate of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The association made this appeal during the International Day on Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, marked on Wednesday.

The objective of the day was to accelerate actions towards its total elimination with the theme ?Zero Tolerance to FGM, Strengthen and Act Globally.?

Female Genital Mutilation refers to the practice that involves partial or total removal or alteration of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Its consequences cover a wide range of health issues among which are increased risks in maternal and reproductive health, childbirth complications, difficulties in menstruation and urinating, risk of contraction, tetanus, infertility, obstrectic fistula, HIV/AIDS, mental health and death.

It would be recalled that last year at Bawku in the Upper East Region, 18 girls could not write their Basic Education Certificate Examination, as they had had their genital organ mutilated at a time of their exams. A lot of women are still subjected to this gruesome act.

The government passed a law on FGM in 1998 and Parliament had a heated debate in 2007 before amending it. It was however regrettable that much has not been done by the government with the law.

GAWW for the past years has championed the fight against FGM. They believe that to eliminate FGM there must be a multi-dimensional approach that involved all stakeholders.

Founded in 1984, its mission is to eradicate harmful traditional practices that affect the health and general wellbeing of women and girls in Ghana.

They called for collaboration with the ministries, agencies and government in the FGM crusade: ?As we mark the day let us not forget that FGM is still with us and we must all fight to end it.?

By: Emmanuel Britwum

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