In Cameroon, almost 50% of women have undergone  Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) between 5 and 9 years of age. Concerning the type of  practice, 85% of women have had flesh removed from genital  area, while an additional 4% have had genital area nicked  without removing any flesh (UNICEF, Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2004).  The  2004 (DHS) indicates that about 1 % of the female population has been subjected to FGM. This low overall  prevalence conceals wide regional disparities especially in the  south-west and the extreme north of the country, in Manyu, Logone,  and Chari regions. Among the communities affected, religious denomination plays a role in determining whether or not a woman is subjected to the practice. All Muslim women, and two thirds of  Christian women are victims of the practice, but no female Animists are affected.

     However, the Government of Cameroon has been actively  involved in efforts to combat FGM since the mid- 1980s, and adopted the National Action Plan  against FGM in 1999. It is signatory to most relevant international treaties and conventions on the rights of women and children.  While the Penal Code does not criminalize the  practice, the Constitution recognizes and protects  ‘traditional values that conform to democratic principles, human rights and the law’. No prosecutions have been recorded with regard to FGM, nor has  the government-created National Human Rights  Commission yet addressed practices discriminatory to girls and women.


  What should be put in place to gradually stop this unfriendly act among the girl child following Cameroon Penal Code and the Constitution?


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