Why FGM has persisted despite a stringent law in place

Why FGM has persisted despite a stringent law in place - Uganda

The Woman Member of Parliament for Bukwo district in Uganda , Hon. Evelyn Chemutai says despite a stringent law in place some women practice FGM in a hidden manner in the Sub Counties of Riwo, Kabei, Kortek and Chepkwasta .

She however says that some women who borders West Pokot cross to Kenya and are cut from there.

She recalls that in 2018 three women were arrested and two were detailed for practicing FGM.

“I personally went and visited them and I asked why they did it, one of them said she just found herself feeling like doing it and she had to look for an old woman to cut her

Another one said she was being laughed at by her co-wife. The surgeon who cut the women went into hiding in West Pokot and police could not trace her,’’

She said women in Kween were practicing FGM openly, because they thought that their culture was dying and there was no replacement.

The men also claimed that they could not go for cultural celebrations because the women were not cut.

She reveals that there was a scenario where one man had to borrow a cut woman to accompany him at a cultural celebrations because he could not go with woman who had not undergone FGM.

This provoked other women to be cut in order to attend the cultural celebrations.

Who prepares the girls to go for FGM

The Mp said there are special women who prepare the girls to undergo FGM practice. The women keep on talking to girls secretly and they scare them that if they tell anyone what they have been taught they would die, run mad and they would not get married or produce children.

After preparing the girls the women and girls spend the whole night dancing before the local surgeons cuts the girls.

A reformed cutter  who now advocates against FGM/C. in Amdat district  – Uganda

At exactly 7.00am the girls are expected to lie on grass with their legs open wide before the local surgeon starts cutting, as the rest of people witness. The girl is expected to open her eyes and she is not supposed to cry or talk when she is being cut because she is supposed to show the rest of people that she is a tough woman.

The women who prepares girls however are different from the cutters.

What should be done:

Chemutai who survived FGM advises government to encourage the girl child to go to school because education is key.

“Some of us survived FGM because we knew the harmful effects of the practice,’’ she said

She also advised government to build Kortek girls Secondary School in Bukwo which it had promised, because it could also act as shelters for the girls who ran away from FGM practice.