Ghana is actively participating in the 2nd International Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (ICFGM), a critical initiative aimed at addressing the deeply rooted issues surrounding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Africa.
This global conference has brought together experts, activists, survivors, and advocates from across the continent to collectively work towards eradicating the harmful practice of FGM.
The conference, which commenced on Monday, 9th October, and is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, 11th October 2023, is being organized by the African Union Commission.
It is being hosted by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania at the Julius Nyerere Convention Centre under the theme: “Change in a Generation.”
The inaugural edition of the conference was hosted by Burkina Faso in 2018 and led to the adoption of the Ouagadougou Call to Action on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.
The second edition seeks to build on the progress made since then, with a focus on ending cross-border FGM while inspiring similar action throughout the continent.
The primary goal of the conference is to foster collaboration and partnerships among African Union member states, civil society organizations, and international partners in the fight against FGM.
It also aims to promote knowledge exchange and capacity-building efforts to empower stakeholders in effectively combatting FGM.
Moreover, the conference provides a platform for participants to evaluate the progress made in the fight against FGM and explore new strategies to expedite its elimination.
In her opening statement, Tanzania’s Minister for Community Development, Gender, Women, and Special Groups, Dr. Dorothy Gwajima, urged all stakeholders to prioritize the fight against FGM to protect the welfare of girls.
Delivering a keynote statement on the experiences and actions required to accelerate the elimination of FGM (Financing) at the conference, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Lariba Zuweira Abudu, emphasized the importance of African leaders protecting the well-being and rights of every citizen, particularly regarding gender.
She called for a multi-faceted approach that includes education, legislation, community engagement, and support for survivors.
Hon. Lariba stressed the need for adequate financial investment in comprehensive awareness campaigns that inform communities about the physical and psychological consequences of FGM, dispel myths surrounding the practice, and promote gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights.
She highlighted the significance of reliable and accurate data, advocating for dedicated budget lines in member states’ annual budgets to support FGM elimination efforts.
The Minister encouraged member states to explore private financial initiatives to fund the elimination of FGM and engage traditional authorities to utilize their resources in campaigns against FGM.
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