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New proposed initiation rules see greater role for women

Govt says the proposal is aimed at streamlining standard medical practice with cultural norms.

FILE. Sixty thousand young boys undergo traditional circumcision across the country every season. Picture: Sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs at the weekend said new regulations proposed to govern initiation schools could see the use of modern medical practice to minimise injuries while women would also play a greater role.

Sixty thousand young boys undergo traditional circumcision across the country every season.

Over the past few years, interventions by the Health Department have seen the number of fatalities decrease.

Government said the proposal is aimed at streamlining standard medical practice with cultural norms.

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela explained.

"The new instruments invented and new technology [are] available. It still gets the same achievements of the removal of the foreskin, and instead of using old instruments, it uses modern practices. It [doesn't] compromise culture at all"