The Ban of FGM/C in Uganda

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“The Uganda government banned FGM/C in 2010 and attached a 10-year imprisonment penalty for those found guilty, but this hasn’t stopped individuals from performing the practice and women undergoing the cut. Ugandan people believed that while their constitution—or the Odoki Commission—should cover rights to practice their culture, they also viewed “some cultural practices, including FGM” did not “fit with modernity” (Mujuzi, 2012). While trying to maintain cultural beliefs, a Uganda representative determined that instead of the governments involvement of eliminating the practice, “education, advocacy and other things” should be considered in order to eliminate the practice (Mujuzi, 2012).

On January 2019, in eastern Uganda, it was reported that gangs of people—sixteen men and three women had been arrested for “aiding and abetting” in FGM/C in the region led by elderly women and machete-wielding men, following other local reports of “more than 400 women, some as young as 12, being mutilated by force” in the past month (, 2019). More recently, a Ugandan woman residing in the United Kingdom is the first mother to be convicted of performing FGM/C on her three-year-old daughter in which the child lost a significant amount of blood (, 2019).

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Initially, the practice and belief of FGM/C are one of the glaring examples of gender inequality in Uganda. While the act may not be considered intentional violence, the practice is expected in some communities and as a result, young girls and women suffer emotionally and physically for the satisfaction of men and status in their communities, and for some, FGM/C is merely a symbol for Ugandan culture and identity. European colonial rule, the slave trade, and missionary activities are largely responsible for gender inequality in this region. Colonial ideas of gender roles eventually became synchronous—or they completely conquered local gender customs which helped to increase gender inequality. As the colonial economy grew, it placed greater emphasis on men to farm and women tended to domestic work, relieving them of any economic, social, political and religious presence they previously held (Rodney, 1992).

In conclusion, the consequences regarding the ban of FGM/C in Uganda increases the practice of cutting out of protest of protecting Ugandan culture. The rate of FGM/C decreased to 71.4 percent in 1995 (for girls under 14) to 8 percent in 2016 in East Africa (BMJ Global Health, 2018), but that population growth in countries where FGM/C is prevalent, will likely increase the number of girls and women at risk from roughly 2 million to 4.6 million by 2030 (, 2019).

In December 2018 and January 2019, 226 cases of FGM was reported in the Sebei region in eastern Uganda (, 2019). To reiterate the fact that the United States Population Fund estimated that by the year 2030, 4.6 million girls will undergo the cut is too important of an issue to be ignored. It is an issue that all global societies must urgently work to eliminate as there is no necessary medical reason for this procedure. On one hand, Western and European opinion and action continue to infiltrate societies trying desperately to hold on to its identity and societies with some males who cling to old norms. On the other hand, Ugandan identity can be preserved without the need to physically and mentally scar girls and women.”

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The Ban of FGM/C in Uganda. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved from