Group restates commitment to end Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria
In continuation of the Girl Child Day celebration, Women Against Violence & Exploitation (WAVE) Foundation, initiators of StopTheCut, an Abuja-based NGO, have restated commitments to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria.
The Foundation will be embarking on a 5km walk tomorrow (Saturday 16 October 2021) to create more awareness and to sensitise society on the dangers of FGM.
This was disclosed on Friday at a press conference held at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) office, Maitama, Abuja, by the President and Chairman, Board of Trustees, WAVE Foundation, Arch Lola Ibrahim.
Arch Ibrahim in her speech at the event said that the purpose of the walk is to raise awareness of the dangers of FGM on the girl child and to advocate that the society provides equal rights and opportunities for all sexes that can lead to sustainable development and build strategic partnerships to end FGM and all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.
She disclosed that WAVE is partnering with Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation to mark the event which will cause a major milestone for Nigerian women and girls.
The speech read in part: “Wave Foundation as the initiator of StopTheCut envisions that the society provides equal rights and opportunities for all sexes that can lead to sustainable development and build strategic partnerships to end Female Genital Mutilation & all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.
“In addition to this walk, we canvass the following actions be implemented by state and non-state actors as we journey in the fight to end FGM in Nigeria.
“We ask that Inter-agency rivalry be addressed because the solution to end this inhumane act can easily be achieved with unity and healthy collaborations by relevant stakeholders.
“We urge that the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act be translated into local languages so that people in the grassroots can know and understand the laws against FGM.”
The WAVE Boss advised other anti-FGM advocates to be sensitive when conversing with local authorities on the matter in other not to condemn their culture but to constructively educate them on the effects of their practises on the health of women and girls.
“We advise anti-FGM advocates to be sensitive with their choice of words while conversing with local authorities. Rather than condemn the culture, explain the dangerous effects of their practices on the health of women and girls.”
Arch Ibrahim also urged the government at all levels to provide support for FGM survivors because there are no social services available for them.
Adding that Inter-agency rivalry should be addressed because “the solution to end this inhumane act can easily be achieved with unity and healthy collaborations by relevant stakeholders”, she said.
In attendance at the event were: The NHRC’s Acting Director of Women, Children and Vulnerable Groups, Harry Obe; Deputy Director Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Adamu Samaila; Nigeria’s ex-international, 1996 Olympics Gold Medalist, Emmanuel Babayero; CEO Firmcare Diagnostics and Medical Services, Dr Dolamu Jawando and others.
NHRC’s Acting Director of Women, Children and Vulnerable Groups, Harry Obe commended the move by WAVE for their contributions towards ensuring that FGM and all forms of Violence Against Women are eradicated in Nigeria.
He said, “I want to congratulate all stakeholders and partners that have come together to mark this special event, women’s movements around the world have been at the vanguard of ending all forms of violence against women and girls and advancing women’s participation in local, national, regional and global levels.
“At the National Human Rights Commission, we recognise that the girl child is vulnerable and at a higher risk of being victims of abuse and all forms of exploitations.
“The Commission is strategically positioned to promote, protect and enforce the rights of every child across Nigeria in line with the provision of Section 5 (a) of the Commission’s Act as amended.”
He said that the Commission in collaboration with Child Protection Network (CPN) and other partners are monitoring the level of compliance on curbing FGM at the grassroots with a huge success story recorded in Ebonyi State.
While fielding questions from journalists, Dr Dolamu Jawando spoke on the health challenges females who have gone through the process, at a very tender age encounter even at childbirth.
He called on all and sundry to be a part of the advocacy to stop FGM saying that “one of the complications we see as medical doctors is that we see a lot of scarring and when these scars are done, they don’t heal properly because they were not done with any form of hygiene and you won’t know because you are not sexually active.”
Jawando noted that the people who are mutilating children lack the competence because there is no doctor particularly in Nigeria that is trained in medical school on how to mutilate female or male genital.
He also spoke on the mental and psychological effects FGM can have on the female, also noting that it can cause infertility in the female.
Others also made relevant contributions towards putting a stop to FGM by educating people especially those in the rural areas against the ills of the act.
Neptune Prime reports that FGM includes all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for cultural or non-medical reasons.
In Yoruba, it is called Di dabe fun omo obinrin, in Igbo- Ibi nwanyi ugwu while in Hausa it is Kaciyan mata.
It is carried out by traditional circumcisers, traditional birth attendants and health workers such as midwives and community health extension workers.