16 December 2012

Tanzania: Tarime Anti-FGM Drive Gets Boost From Minister Ummy

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
Campaign to protect girl child underway in Tanzania.

THE Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu is on a four-day working tour of Tarime district in Mara region to campaign an anti female genital mutilation (FGM) in various villages of the district.

Officials in Tarime confirmed that the deputy minister has already visited a number of villages and talked to local traditional leaders and elders among other stakeholders to help in the fight against FGM.

The move by the deputy minister could not have come at a more opportune time as it is that time of year when the practice is widespread in many parts of the district where an unspecified number of young girls are lined up for circumcision this month.

"Ms Mwalimu arrived here on Friday and she has already conducted several public rallies aimed at educating people on the effects of FGM," Tarime District Administrative Secretary (DAS), Mr Ernest Kabohora told the 'Sunday News' yesterday afternoon.

Until Saturday afternoon she had already visited several villages in the district. She is accompanied by senior police officers from the police force's gender desk and a number of Tarime district officials, he said.

To give boost to the campaign, the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Pereila Silima is expected to arrive in Tarime tomorrow and join his counterpart, according to the DAS. "We are expecting Mr Silima to arrive here tomorrow and join the team on Monday", he confirmed.

Tarime is one area in the country where FGM is still commonplace. There is on-going initiatives made by the government and NGO's to end the malpractice. But according to most recent reports from traditional elders, the number of girls undergoing FGM in the area has decreased significantly, noting that it has become more or less a voluntary practice than a forced one.

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