According Madam Otiko Djaba, the practice is outmoded and rather poses a danger to the reproductive health and lives of young girls.
The Minister for Gender, Children & Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba, has warned those who practice Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to stop it or face the law.
According to her, the practice is outmoded and rather poses a danger to the reproductive health and lives of young girls.
In a statement to mark International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation,which is set for Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the Gender Minister said the practice is against the law and must not be allowed to continue.
She, therefore, called on all well-meaning Ghanaians to help completely eradicate this “discriminatory” practice against girls.
“It is clear that the adoption of this cultural practice of FGM has not served any good purpose in our country. Culture that violates the rights of the people is not worth practicing. The practice of FGM has serious implications on the health of the females in terms of maternal health, infant mortality, self-esteem, discrimination, stigma and productivity.
“Indeed, the practice has no benefits for girls and women but rather in the name of ensuring fidelity in females, FGM exposes them to health hazards and psychological trauma. It causes severe bleeding, problems in urinating which can develop into cysts, infections, complications in children and increased risks of fistula during child birth,” she said.
Ms. Djaba further stated that her ministry is ready to join forces with traditional rulers, NGOs and civil society groups to fight the practice of FGM in the country.
“As the Ministry for the vulnerable , the weak, excluded and marginalized, we join the international community to condemn female genital mutilation in Ghana. As we celebrate this International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM we wish to forge better collective responsibility with the media, faith-based organizations, traditional rulers, MMDAs, civil society and community based organizations to implement concrete actions to end FGM NOW in Ghana and to intensify public community based awareness campaigns against FGM.”
She added: “As we mark this day as part of our combined efforts with the UN and other social activist parties, we must remind ourselves that the elimination of FGM is a key target under SDGoal 5, We therefore call on our friends from the media to send this information to the furthest parts of the country and let the public know that the practice of FGM is a crime in Ghana.
“The law against FGM, ACT 741 of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana entitled Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2007, provides for imprisonment and/or fines for both the circumciser and those who request, incite or promote excision by providing money, goods or moral support. The person who commits this offense is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than 10 years.”
FGM is still practiced in some parts of the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Brong Ahafo and the Volta regions.
However, the Gender Minister is bent on making sure that it is a thing of the past by prosecuting those who subject young girls to the practice.