by VR Sreeraman on  October 15, 2008 at 6:55 PM Women Health News
 Ugandan Community Bans Female Circumcision
A community in eastern Uganda that has practiced female genital mutilation "since time immemorial" has banned the ritual, a local official told AFP on Wednesday.

"The community decided that it was not useful, that women were not getting anything out of it, so the district council decided to establish an ordinance banning it," said Nelson Chelimo, chairman of Kapchorwa district.

Chelimo said that historically people in Kapchorwa believed that a woman who married without first being circumcised would be stricken for life with various illnesses, but that "those beliefs are really outmoded."

He said the campaign to end the practice has been alive in his community for several years, and that in the recent past, educated young women in Kapchorwa have shunned it.

The district council's ordinance will now be submitted to parliament so that it can become law, and subject to enforcement by the national police force.

Last year, the United Nations passed a resolution that called female genital mutilation a violation of the rights of women and said it constituted "irreparable, irreversible abuse."

The resolution also said the practice increases the risk of HIV transmission, as well as maternal and infant mortality. The UN estimates that between 100 million to 140 million worldwide have undergone the practice.

Source: AFP

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