Cameroon (Face2FaceAfrica) The prevalence rate of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the West and Central Africa State of the Republic of Cameroon stands at 1.4 percent, according to Cameroon’s Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family Prof. Mrs. Marie Therese Abena Ondoa.
Ondoa made the pronouncement about FGM in Cameroon’s upper house of parliament, the Senate, as she presented an advocacy speech in the capital, Yaoundé. She then called on senators to join and support her ministerial department in the fight against female genital mutilation.
And in response, all 100 Senators from 10 regions of the republic pledged to accompany the government through the ministry to completely eradicate the practice.
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Senator and former Prime Minister of Cameroon Simon Achidi Achu, from the North West constituency, told state broadcaster CRTV, ‘’That it [FGM] is a moral evil; it is a civil evil against mankind and God. We intend to give the minister our wholehearted support because it is an error in Cameroon that we have to correct.’’
Watch a video about FGM and the treatment of one woman who didn’t get it in her community here:
Some 20 percent of girls and women who are living in the East, South West, and the North Regions of Cameroon suffer from female genital mutilation, according to the Minister.
FGM involves the total or partial removal of the female external genitalia, which causes severe pains, bleeding, infections, infertility, and complications during child birth.
‘’This is an important issue at this particular moment. Women are victims of violence of all sorts, and this particular violence is so serious that we have to start with it. It is only the beginning and not the end,’’ Ondoa explained.
British High Commissioner, Ambassador to Cameroon Bryan Ole, who was present in the Senate, told the press that Britain is ready to provide financial assistance to support the fight against the practice, ‘’ The United Kingdom has been spending over 23 million pounds around the world because this is a global phenomenon, and we will continue to help in every way we can, including my personal support in education and development projects.’’
Since 2003, the Cameroonian government adopted a law to protect the right and health of young girls and women as well as their dignity. Still, feminists have continued to express anxiety around the issue. They are now putting pressure on Cameroon President Paul Biya to enact a legislature on female genital mutilation.