Female genital mutilation (FGM) and the existence of state protection to women/girls who are being targeted for that practice (2000-January 2001) [GHA36052.E]

Additional information to that provided in GHA35744.E of 10 November 2000 on female genital mutilation (FGM) practice in Ghana is limited among the sources consulted the Research Directorate.

Two December 2000 reports refer to the rejection by the judge and an appeal panel of the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS), of a Ghanaian woman asylum seeker's claim, on the grounds that "Ghana had outlawed female circumcision in 1994" (The Guardian 21 Dec. 2000; The Daily Telegraph 21 Dec. 2000). Reports also added that, "in any case", FGM has not been reported to be practised in the Birwa area, in the southwestern Ghana, where the claimant was from (ibid.).

The Ghanaian deputy minister for communication cited "girl-child education, violence against women, abolishing of female genital mutilation and the Children's Bill as some achievements in recent year that have enhanced the status of women in Ghana" (PANA 8 Mar. 2000).

According to a 31 January 1999 WIN News, "the Criminal Code of 1960 (Act 29A) states that whoever excises, infibulates or otherwise mutilates female genital organs in whole or in part shall be guilty of a second-degree felony, and liable on conviction to imprisonment of not less than three years."

Citing a country's acting director of medical services, a 1 September 1999 AFP revealed that, in Ghana, "female circumcision has "gone underground because legislation has been issued making it a criminal offence." Groups in the country which carried out the tradition were slowly beginning to acknowledge its harmful aspects."

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 1 September 1999. "WHO Works to End Female Circumcision in Africa." (NEXIS)

The Daily Telegraph [London]. 21 December 2001. Ben Fenton. "Asylum Seeker Backed By Stars Exposed as Fake." (NEXIS)

The Guardian [London]. 21 December 2000. Martin Kettle. "Feminist Cause from Ghana Was a Fraud." (NEXIS)

Panafrican News Agency (PANA). 8 March 2000. "Women Parliamentarians Pay Tribute to the Female Gender." (NEXIS) (Africa News/NEXIS)

Women's International Network (WIN News). 31 January 1999. "Female Genital Mutilation... Is the Ban Effective in Ghana?" (Gender Watch/NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 2000.

Africa Research Bulletin 2000.

Amnesty International. 2000. Annual Report.

IRB databases.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 2000.


Resource Centre country file. Ghana. 2000.

West Africa 2000.

World News Connection (WNC).

Internet sources including:

Amnesty International Online.

The Chronicle.

Daily Graphic.

Ghanaian Digest.

Ghanaian Newsrunner.

The Independent.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Online.

The Mirror.


UK Home Office country report.

Internet Engines, including: