Female Genital Mutilation Must End – First Lady
First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has called on stakeholders to as a matter of urgency take a unified decision to put an end to female genital mutilation.
Speaking at a two-day International meeting on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which took place in Accra on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said: “take a unified decision that binds us to take strong measures to eradicate this practice”
Mrs. Akufo-Addo, bemoaned the “terribly harmful” practice of FGM stating that “the practice is so detrimental to the health, human rights and development of our girls, that no argument should trump the considerations of the rights and health of any girl”.
She noted that the practice has over the years exposed victims “to severe pain, excessive bleeding, infections, psychological trauma and obstetrical complications that may lead to fistula or maternal mortality,”’ adding that “FGM could be a contributory factor to the high maternal deaths in Africa.’’
The First Lady further added that although a variety of strategies have been implemented to discourage the practice, much still remains to be done due to the deeply held attitudes regarding FGM in some societies.
She noted that government and stakeholders have to intensify education on the harmful effects of FGM to help change attitudes, improve access to information and resources for girls and women, provide medical care and counseling for girls who have undergone FGM as well as strictly apply legislation on FGM to ensure the practice is eradicated.
Present at the meeting was Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Mabingue Ngom, UNFPA Regional Director, Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwa, WHO Representative-Ghana and Dr Margaret Agama -Anyetei, Head if Division Health, Population, and Nutrition, Department of Social Affairs -AUC