The African Union Commission, Directorate Women, Gender and Youth, has praised a decision by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya and rejected a case in which a doctor challenged the ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) on the grounds that this restricts women’s choice and the right to maintain their culture. However, on March 17, 2021, the Court ruled that the practice of FGM violates a woman’s right to health, human dignity and, in cases where it leads to death, her right to life, adding that the practice also undermines international human rights standards.
The AU Commission has described the decision as clear evidence of the commitment of the member states to uphold, protect and promote women’s rights through laws, guidelines and measures. During the process and the decision, several African Union treaties such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights on Women’s Rights in Africa (Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights) and the African Charter on Rights and Rights were signed Child Welfare Closed (https://bit.ly/3f0u50t) along with other international instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action have been referenced to confirm the retrograde nature of FGM and the need to protect the rights of women and girls.
The medic, Dr. Tatu Kamau, had questioned the constitutionality of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, arguing that sections of the law violated articles of the Kenyan Constitution by prohibiting an adult woman from freely choosing to submit FGM under a trained and licensed doctor, thereby denying women access to the right to health care. She claimed to be speaking on behalf of communities practicing female circumcision and for the women imprisoned for performing the rite. In rejecting the petition, Judges, Justice Lydia Achode, Kanyi Kimondo and Margaret Muigai instructed the Attorney General to forward proposals to the Kenyan National Assembly to consider amendments to the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act to ban all harmful practices from FGM Protect vulnerable members of society, including young girls and women. This petition was tabled on July 24, 2017.
Mrs. Victoria Maloka, the AUC The Acting Director for Women, Gender and Youth noted that the ruling serves as an enforcement of existing gender equality obligations and shifts from obligations to action. “When Saleema (https://au.int/fr/node/35892), the African Union’s initiative to eradicate female genital mutilation, was launched in 2019, it aimed to take policy action to address the issue To accelerate the elimination of harmful practices and complement all existing policies that we as the African Union have advanced in treaties and various initiatives. We are delighted that the judiciary is coming in to say that under no circumstances will we allow African women and girls to be exposed to these horrific practices. The verdict is not just a victory for Kenya, but for all African women and girls. It is very encouraging and very much aligned with the AU strategy on gender equality and women’s empowerment ”(https://bit.ly/3lCL8qA), she explained.
The Saleema initiative aims to strengthen policies to enforce tough legislation, increase funding and strengthen partnerships to end female genital mutilation, especially in the communities hardest hit by the harmful practice. More than 50 million girls under the age of 15 in Africa are at risk of female genital mutilation by 2030 if concerted action is not taken to end the harmful practice. Investing in girls and women remains a central part of the African Transformation Agenda 2063, whose Goal 6 calls for an end to all forms of gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation.
The Kenyan trial had recruited witnesses across various categories of medical evidence, survivors, perpetrators and anti-anti-witnesses.FGM Advocacy. Medical experts testified how FGM Increases risk related to women’s reproductive and sexual health, showing that women who undergo the cut are more prone to infection and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as an increased risk of child and maternal mortality. Details of how removing or damaging healthy genital tissue affects the functioning of the body and has various immediate and long-term health consequences such as bleeding, severe pain, shock, infection, septicemia, urine retention, anemia, cysts, keloids, vulval abscess, clitoral neuroma, infertility , Reproductive tract infections, acute and chronic pelvic infections, fistulas, incontinence, vaginal obstruction and ulcers were brought to justice. The medics also stated that women who underwent it FGMAs they age, mental states can develop, including, but not limited to, feelings of incompleteness, loss of self-esteem, depression, chronic anxiety, phobias, and even psychotic disorders.
Survivors also shared harrowing experiences of how girls ages 3 to 10 were forcibly exposed to the rite and how failure to undergo the cut subjected them to ridicule, stigma and risk of marginalization. One related how she suffered severe pain after the incision while performing regular biological functions, and how at marriage the stitches were removed from her private parts, causing her excruciating pain. She told of the difficult and lengthy contractions during her pregnancy, which led to a caesarean section for additional medical costs. Another spoke of the trauma she experienced long after the cut, accompanied by nightmares, anxiety and panic. She shared how she still suffers from incontinence and how FGM Prejudice against their intimacy with male partners.
Local leaders weighed in much the same way that community women practiced FGM lagged behind other women from non-cutting communities. They testified that after the cut, women are encouraged to marry, stay home, and have children as opposed to their peers FGM Communities encouraged to continue their education and compete on national, regional, and international stages. Likewise, young men of high standing in the community also added to the call to avoid the harmful practice entirely, emphasizing the relevance and influence of the awareness and awareness efforts of elders and women in the community on the dangers of FGM. Through awareness, some communities have also given up other harmful cultural practices such as ear piercing and removing the two front teeth in childhood, they said.
The Three Judges Bank recognized the right to health and the enjoyment of the highest possible standard of physical and mental health, as enshrined in Article 16 of the African Charter for Humans and Human Beings and the African Charter for Women’s Rights (Maputo Protocol) explicitly provides this The right of all women to health and the promotion and respect for the sexual and reproductive health of women. The ruling dictated that decisions about violating constitutional rights should not be made in a factual vacuum, as such an attempt would trivialize the constitution and inevitably lead to rash opinions. The judges therefore ruled that the petitioner had not demonstrated that her ability to exercise the fundamental right had been violated and that this violation or behavior was not justified in a modern democratic state.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the African Union (AU).
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