ANTI - Female Genital Mutilation Action in the REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON

ANTI - Female Genital Mutilation Action in the REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON

TO: The Hon. Members of The Cameroon National Assembly

FROM: The Ejagham Women, Manyu Division - Southwest Province

Date: February 20th, 2003.

Leader, ABEMO
Whereas the heinous practice of Female Genital Mutilation in our communities often causes severe pain and bleeding, grave damage to the female organs, infections and life-long depression and even in some cases the victims die;

- Whereas Female Genital Mutilation is an unhealthy practice perpetuated not only by obsolete cultural tradition but by practitioners for whom it is a source of income;

Whereas the communities in which this practice is prevalent, carry out this practice on young innocent girls under the guise of introducing them to womanhood and the victims are made to believe that this practice controls female promiscuity and birth rate as well as conserves the monogamous status of women; Whereas this amputation of the sensitive parts of the female organ, with the complications already referred to above, is denounced the world over as being an unacceptable violation of human rights through needless, unnatural and harmful destruction of the physical integrity of the female body;

ABEMO Advocacy team networki
Advocacy team after lobbyin

Whereas the Republic of Cameroon is a signatory to both the convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the convention on the Rights of Children and the African Charter, all of which are international agreements relating to issues of similar concern; Whereas many enlightened Ejagham Women who hail from the Ejagham Community in Manyu Division, some of who were victims of this savage practice when they were young and incapable of giving consent to their genitals being mutilated have joined the "Global Voice" calling for an immediate halt of this abuse (violence) on our girls and women;

Whereas this "Global Voice" hereby urges our law makers (Hon. Members of Parliament) to introduce a Bill to abolish this Female Genital Mutilation and check the perpetrators of this heinous and degrading practice against womanhood and by so doing save our girls from being subjected to the barbaric and traumatizing experience the victims have to go through;

Whereas this practice is prevalent in some tribes in the South western and Northern regions of Cameroon;

The Ejagham women re-affirming their commitment to the furthering of peace and promotion of societies in which human rights of all are respected, hereby propose an amendment to our 'Penal Code' by adding a sub-section which abolishes the practice of Female Genital Mutilation attached to Section 277 as follows:

Section 277 - Grievous Harm

(1) Whoever permanently deprives another of the use of the whole or any part of any member, organ or sense shall be punished with imprisonment for from ten to twenty years.

(2) Whoever by any means carries out any Female Genital Mutilation by removing the clitoris, prepuce or labia minora of any girl or woman shall be punished as described in sub-section 1 above.

(3) Whoever aids or facilitates the performance by another of any Female Genital Mutilation on any female, or directly or indirectly derives any profit therefrom shall be punished with imprisonment of from six months to one year and with a fine of from fifty thousand (50.000) Frs. to one hundred thousand (100.000)Frs.

(4) The penalties under this section shall be doubled where:

a) The offender engages habitually in Female Genital Mutilation.

b) The victim of the offence is a minor.

c) The offender practices the profession of medicine or an allied profession unless the said Female Genital Mutilation was carried out for justified medical reasons.

d) The Female Genital Mutilation was carried out on the victim by force or with knowledge and consent of ascendants.


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