A female legislator in Tanzania has proposed that an inspection should be carried out to determine if male Members of Parliament are circumcised. She argues that this will curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Jackline Ngonyani, the female MP, said that for those who are not circumcised, they should immediately be circumcised. Tanzania's National Assembly comprises of 350 memebers, and out of these, 224 are men.
Male circumcision comes with some health advantages. According to the World Health Organisation, circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual men getting HIV by 60%. And it is for this reason that Jackline Ngonyani is calling for her male colleagues to be circumcised.
Male circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis.
In her calls for male MPs to be circumcised, Ms Ngonyani also found support from a fellow legislator, Joseph Selasini. The argument advanced was that neighbouring Kenya had introduced a similar proposal and those MPs found to be uncircumcised underwent the practice which involves cutting the penis' foreskin. However, this is misleading, since there is no such program in Kenya.
She also attracted some criticism and opposition. Another MP, Joseph Kasheku, contested Jackline Ngonyani's calls.
He said that such calls were uncouth and invasive.
He said: "Women who are circumcised also spread HIV... so if we are going to check men who are circumcised then we should also inspect female members to see if they have undergone FGM."
Header image credit: BBC