First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has called on all stakeholders to as a matter of urgency “take a unified decision, to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation.
The First lady made the call when she opened a two -day International meeting on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Accra last Wednesday.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo, addressing the meeting, bemoaned the “terribly harmful” practice of FGM stating that “the practice is so detrimental to the health, human rights and development of our girls, that no argument should trump the considerations of the rights and health of any girl” urging all to do all we can to stop it.
She noted that the practice has over the years exposed victims “to severe pain, excessive bleeding, infections, psychological trauma and obstetrical complications that may lead to fistula or maternal mortality”’ adding that “FGM could be a contributory factor to the high maternal deaths in Africa.’’
The First Lady further said that although a variety of strategies have been implemented to discourage the practice, much still remains to be done due the deeply held attitudes regarding FGM in some of our societies.
She noted that governments and stakeholders have to intensify education on the harmful effects of FGM to help change attitudes, improve access to information and resources for girls and women, provide medical care and counseling for girls who have undergone FGM as well as strictly apply legislation on FGM to ensure the practice is eradicated.
Present at the meeting was Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, Minister of Gender and Social Protection , Mr Mabingue Ngom UNFPA Regional Director , Dr . Owen Laws Kaluwa, WHO Representative-Ghana and Dr Margaret Agama -Anyetei , Head if Division Health, Population and Nutrition, Department of Social Affairs –AUC