- Human Rights groups have welcomed Ugandan legislators’ decision to endorse the proposed law banning female genital mutilation.
Rights activists who have decried the heinous practice, said the legislators have gone a step further towards protecting the rights of women and young girls.
The bill which seeks to ban the practice of cutting off a clitoris and is reported posing major health risks for girls, prescribes a 10 years prison term or life imprisonment if the victim dies, for the perpetrators.
The bill passed by legislators late Thursday could be amended to include compensation for victims of genital mutilation and protect Uganda’s children aged 15 and below.
According to United Nations Population Fund, the experience has also been related to a range of psychological and psychosomatic disorders in the long run.
Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is practiced mostly in northeastern Uganda especially in December.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 100 million to 140 million girls and women have been circumcised worldwide, saying another 3 million girls are at risk of being circumcised each year.
The United Nations Children's Fund said the practice is extremely painful and traumatising, and can result in prolonged bleeding, a higher risk of HIV infection, infertility and even death.
President Yoweri Museveni announced in July that the move to ban female circumcision is in line with other countries and international organisations that have sought to decrease the prevalence of female circumcision.
The practice involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia and creates scar tissue that can cause complications during labour, according to WHO.
The practice is reportedly rife in Kenya and Tanzania, where female genital mutilation is illegal, but continues due to poor enforcement of the law.
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