Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is ostensibly the removal of female organs for cultural reasons. Ghana's government outlawed female circumcision in 1994; however, it is still being practiced in some parts of Northern Ghana. Studies have pegged the prevalence of FGM in Ghana at 4%. A recent report by the BMC Women’s Health indicated that women and girls who have undergone FGM are at risk of both short- and long-term consequences such as severe pain, excessive bleeding, shock, genital tissue swelling, heightened risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to the use of the same knife for cutting women/girls, impaired wound healing, psychological consequences, and even death.
This reporting project will thus highlight the surge of FGM during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the experiences and complications of FGM survivors. This reporting will shine the light on how the pandemic was exploited by some culprits, mostly traditional priests who believe FGM should be encouraged due to its cultural and spiritual relevance. It will also seek to proffer viable suggestions on reducing the prevalence of FGM and possibly ending its prevalence in Northern Ghana.
This project will be published in various media outlets in Ghana. In addition to Citi Newsroom, the stories will also be published on top news websites [myjoyonline.com, ghanaweb.com, starrfmonline.com, and 3news.com] in Ghana.