Cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are still common in parts of the Brong-Ahafo Region despite intensified public campaign to eradicate the practice.
Mrs Joyceline Adii, the Regional Director of the Department of Gender, said this in a meeting with journalists over the weekend.
The perpetrators, mostly aged women, according Mrs Adii, have changed their modus operandi as they transported the victims beyond Ghana borders and perform the rite (removed clitoris of girls) and return into the country.
They do this, ostensibly to outwit the general public and the Police from arrest and prosecution, she said.
Mrs Adii said though the harmful practice has reduced, unreported cases were common in Tain and Banda Districts of the region.
She said FGM remains the worst form of abuse of girls and womanhood and appealed to the general public to be watchful and report perpetrators to the Police or the Department for their arrest.
Mrs Adii called for concerted efforts and decisive action to curb the practice, which is common in Muslim dominated communities in the two districts.
The Regional Director of Gender said many people in these communities are not reporting the perpetrators because they regarded and revered the FGM practice as part of their culture.
Mrs Adii appealed to the National House of Chiefs and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs to intervene and help curb harmful traditional practices which are inimical to human life and development.
The meeting was organised by the Department to sensitise the media on the “HeForShe” campaign to rally the support of both the print and electronic media to use their pens and airwaves to champion the advocacy campaign.
“HeForShe” is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender inequality, initiated by the United Nations (UN) to achieve equality by encouraging both genders to partake as agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes and behaviour faced by people with feminine personalities/genders.
Mrs Adii said the Department targeted boys and men to commit to the advocacy campaign as key stakeholders in promoting gender equality.
Gender equality, she said, is a basic human right, hence the need for everyone to show concern and partake for the campaign.
Mrs Adii said though much had been achieved by feminists’ movements and women rights organisations in promoting gender equality, there is the need for men and boys to also support and play their part.
She said the Department is determined to end child and forced marriages, as well as harmful cultural and traditional practices.
Other national objectives set for the “HeForShe” campaign, Mrs. Adii added was to increase women economic empowerment, and their active participation in political and decision making processes.