This article looks at three legal steps that have been taken in Uganda to abolish the practice of female genital mutilation: (1) a process during the drafting of the constitution that resulted in the enactment of different constitutional provisions that implicitly rendered female genital mutilation unconstitutional; (2) the declaration by the Constitutional Court in the case of Law and Advocacy for Women in Uganda v Attorney General in July 2010 that the practice is unconstitutional; and (3) the enactment in April 2010 of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act. This article highlights some of the challenges that are likely to be encountered in enforcing both the Constitutional Court decision and the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act.
* LLD (University of the Western Cape), LLM (human rights and democratization in Africa) (University of Pretoria); LLM (human rights, specializing in reproductive and sexual health rights) (University of the Free State); LLB (hons, Makerere University). Senior lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape. The author is grateful to Farouk Nyende of the Uganda Human Rights Commission for providing some of the material used in this article and to the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments. The usual caveats apply. Email: email@example.com.