Stop Forcing Girls to Undergo FGM

By Mugini Jacob in Tarime

THE Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Dorothy Gwajima has ordered parents and guardians to stop forthwith forcing their girls to go for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

He condemned and warned parents and guardians who prefer that way of life, stressing the need for investing in their children’s education without discrimination.

“How can you force your girl child to undergo mutilation … take them to school because the failure of that is violence,” she said as she condemned such practice that is still common to some communities, including Tarime District and some other parts of Mara region.

The minister made the remarks recently during her familiarisation tour of the FGM Rescue Centre that is under the Association for Termination of Female Genital Mutilation (ATFGM), based at Masanga Village in the Lake Zone region.

Dr Gwajima commended the ongoing efforts by ATFGM Masanga to fight FGM and early marriages in the district where education for a girl child is still not given priority.

The Minister underscored the importance of prioritising education and awareness campaigns on the effects of FGM by involving key stakeholders, including men and traditional elders.

She further warned that those who would defy the anti-FGM education campaigns will face legal actions, insisting that FGM is illegal according to the Child Act Number 21 of 2009.

Tarime is one of districts in Mara region reportedly with an alarming number of girls being subjected to FGM.

Already, there is fear that a large number of girls are lined up for FGM later this year.

Source: Tanzania Daily News

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