I wish to respond to Joseph Lule’s article in The New Vision of February 19 titled, “Female circumcision hurts women’s dignity.” To many Africans, particularly Ugandans, our cultural practices have become outdated and dangerous. This is because we look at things through the lenses of foreigners who do not have cultures of significance. For example, the UN officials who claim that female circumcision is violence against women do not belong to communities which have that practice. And women who have undergone circumcision are not complaining.
Lule raised the issue of privacy and dignity. However, it is not true that circumcised women are exposed for public viewing.
People have the right or freedom to choose what to do with their bodies. There would be a problem if exercising that freedom would pose a danger to the health and well being of the people. In such case we would talk about ‘how’ and not ‘whether’ to undergo circumcision.
Notice where that parallels the American discussion of male infant circumcision, particularly the last paragraph. If those who’ve been circumcised aren’t complaining, we’ve done nothing wrong. As long as we address how, we can sweep rights aside.