East African countries unveil Action Plan to end cross-border FGM

Countries in the East African region comprising of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, and Ethiopia have Wednesday launched a regional action plan to end cross-border Female Genital Mutilation(FGM).

The action plan followed a declaration made in April 2019 during a meeting between Ministers from the six countries to strengthen coordination to eliminate FGM and in particular the cross-border dimensions.

The action plan includes the development of a comprehensive programme of action aimed at strengthening the urgent work of implementing regional human rights instruments to fully end FGM.

Speaking during the launch, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs, Margaret Kobia said each East African country has a key role to play in prevention and elimination of FGM.

“The recommendations of the study which include scaling up prevention and response, capacity building, research and development of regional laws demonstrate the huge tasks that have been bestowed on member countries,” she stated

The action plan was launched virtually with support from UNFPA and UNICEF where representatives from both entities making a commitment to join efforts in ending cross-border FGM and gender inequality.

Ministers from the six countries also vowed to incorporate the recommendations in the action plan to strengthen efforts by the region to FGM.

Countries in East Africa have continued to experience cross-border FGM whereby girls living in a country where the tradition is banned are taken across national borders to a country where it is not against the law to undergo the cut.

However, with the launch of the new action plan governments across the region aim to formulate laws that will uphold human rights and total elimination of FGM.


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