The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has called for collective efforts to combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The Speaker made these remarks on Tuesday, 9th August 2016 while at the launch of a book written by Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut titled “The Switch”, which focuses on the vice of FGM.
Kadaga said that for the last 16 years, she has been going to Amudat and Sebei region to speak to the communities about the problem and she was happy to see Hon. Karooro Okurut join her in the battle against FGM.
“I asked the government when I was still the Deputy Speaker to create a budget line in support of the campaign,” Kadaga said further adding that, “I mobilised Sebei women who had been through the ordeal and we appealed to the President to launch the campaign against FGM in Amudat.”
The Speaker said that she pushed for the construction of schools by the government to protect the girls during the season of circumcision adding that people were making money from the practice.
“Women are paid Ushs 50,000 to circumcise others; this is lucrative and relates to the unemployment problem in the country,” she said.
She contributed 150 copies of the book to be distributed to the schools in the affected areas because that’s where the major perpetrators are.
Karooro Okurut, who is also the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, said that “The Switch” is not all about pain but giving hope to all those suffering because of FGM.
“200 girls were circumcised this year despite the legislation that is in place. So we have to fight using whatever possible means including writing books that can help sensitize the masses about the dangers of FGM,” Karooro Okurut said.
She added that the Speaker has got what it takes to push the Women’s agenda ahead especially on such issues.
The book narrates an ordeal of a woman who overcame her experience of FGM by rising to power and fighting the vice.