Recently, a number of Ugandans lost their cool following the State Gender and Culture Minister Peace Mutuuzo’s remarks against the culture of labia elongation commonly known as ‘pulling’ in Buganda culture.
The minister said government will find avenues of talking to girls, especially in primary schools, how to report the perpetrators for encouraging a practice that does not add value to their health.
“We shall target matrons in primary boarding schools. You are preparing our girls who are not yet ready for marriage and may get partners who do not care about that (genital elongation),” Mutuuzo said while addressing journalist in Kampala early this month.
Pulling is a tradition in Uganda and Rwanda, when teenage girls come of age.
Although criticised by the west, the practice, is basically the elongation of the labia minora on the female private parts by girls and women.
After the backlash from the general public, the minister came out and defended her position that she is doing all this to save the young girls who undergo the cultural practice against their will.
On the other hand, such cultures have prompted a number of young girls/women to flee their country or some go into hiding to survive what they call ‘dangerous’ practices which could also lead practices like lesbianism.
Away from genital elongation, last year alone, about 350 girls underwent Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts while 100 to 140 million girls and women have undergone some form of genital mutilation or cutting.
Still due to some cultural beliefs, a number of women have been denied the right to love; they have been rejected, mistreated by families and the general public specifically due to their sex orientation.
Inebe Christine E, is one of the many women dying silently due to her sex orientation. She was rejected by her relatives.
The 46 year old climate change activist and consultant has a chronic kidney failure condition and her family has since claimed that her sickness is demonic and a curse due to her unacceptable actions in the society. Kiruddu hospital is the only public hospital that does dialysis and one can not survive outside this unless you are very rich to use the private centres.
Sources reaching our desk say even her clan has ex-communicated her, because earlier on they had asked them for a kidney donor but now all of them don’t want to hear anything about her. we think that is why she had to sneak out of the country after escaping bring killed or lynched.
Aloysius Matovu Junior, a human rights activist says, “We have had cases of girls fleeing Uganda due to culture beliefs and practices. When these girls denounce a cultural practice, they are subjected to rejection and some narrowly survive being killed so that’s why when they get chance, they leave the country.”