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article imageSenegal village declare an end to female mutilation

By Abram Mahlaba     Nov 29, 2010 in Lifestyle
Kolda - About 3000 people marched with banners denouncing female circumcision and forced marriages in southern region of Kolda, Senegal on Sunday.
People from seven villages in the southern province of Kolda where the rate of this practice is the highest in Senegal, took to the streets in their colorful regalia with traditional music and dance and drama to denounce and encourage the villagers to end the cultural practice of mutilating female genitals.
According to News24, the denunciations came after extensive work by the government and non-governmental organizations to make people aware of the health risks associated with this practice, which stood at 28 percent, and to help people achieve the well- being and better life.
Molly Melching, the head of Tostan Non-governmental Organization, is reported as saying: “The programme includes men and their human rights so they can understand also that this is about achieving the well being and health and better life for everyone in the community.”
“It is not about fighting tradition, it is about helping people achieve the goals they set.”
This practice was declared illegal by the government a decade ago, but the communities persist to practice it despite the pain, the deaths and permanent disabilities caused by it. Besides having their vagina butchered, women suffer terribly at child births because of vagina's lack of elasticity, because the scars cannot stretch to let the baby out. In most of the cases the babies die during birth.
The Senegalese government has pledged to eliminate this practice completely by 2015.
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