The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) today joins the world to create awareness on the need to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), an old lifestyle and negative cultural practice in our society. On this day, NCCE urges all players to rethink this practice and promote zero tolerance for FGM. This year, the world observes the day advocating against FGM under the theme “Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation”.

Following the concerted efforts needed in the elimination ofFGM, it is important that we collectively invest resources and increase efforts to ensure the continued reduction of FGM. According to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), more than 200 million women and girls worldwide have already undergone FGM in 30 countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia.

In Ghana, although the prevalence of FGM has been recently estimated to be 4% of women of reproductive age, the practice is still widespread in the Northern regions of the country and among poorer communities (Ghana Multi-cluster Survey, 12thMay, 2021).

FGM practice is dire and involves pain, excessive bleeding and infections. No woman or girl should experience such trauma.Consequences of FGM include difficulty in passing urine,reproductive and sexual health disorders as well as mental health challenges. The lasting effects truncate or limit the role of women in contributing meaningfully to nation building, and diminishes their potential as active citizens.

Globally, efforts have accelerated towards the elimination of FGM for the past decade. However, sustaining these achievements in the face of global crises including conflict related migration, violence and poverty with its concomitant repercussions is reducing the traction of eliminating FGM. If global efforts are not significantly scaled up, the number of girls at risk of being subjected to FGM will be higher in 2030 than the current statistics.

In view of this, the NCCE calls on all stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Ghana to work towards the elimination of FGM in our society by investing significantly towards ending this menace. In so doing, collectively, we are contributing towards achieving SDG 5 (3), which seeks to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation”. This would protect women and girlsfundamental human rights against “All customary practices which dehumanise or are injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a person… , as provided in Article 26 (2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The NCCE reiterates the need for all individuals who perpetuate this dangerous practice to desist from the act since it leads to several health complications for its victims and is against the law. We collectively lose the value of girls and women’s contribution to our society.

Stop FGM Now!

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