Experts decry female genital mutilation

Posted by News Express | 10 February 2016 | 2,731 times

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Experts have condemned the act of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a harmful and an unnecessary interference with the perfect work of God which has no benefit, besides being a violation of the human right of victims, based on the primordial myth that uncircumcised women are promiscuous and not marriageable. They called for its discontinuation given the negative effects on the female children.

“We question the supremacy of God when we tamper with what He created perfectly. Our God is a God of perfection. But why do we have to remove the clitoris of the girl child? It is more sad if it is done outside the hospital when anesthesia is not involved. It is a torture because we have not seen it in the Holy Bible or Quran,” said Mrs Nkiru Igbelina-Igbokwe, a Gender Specialist at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

To a Child Protection Specialist from the UNICEF, Mrs Mariam Iliyasu: “It is not a practice that can easily go away in two or three years. We are working closely to eliminate and ensuring that advocacy is going on at all levels to leverage support on the FGM abandonment. Media is part of the tools we are using. We are doing continuous community dialogue and come to a common declaration to forsake it. It is not beneficial to girl child.”

Dr Ugboko Christopher, Head of Gender, Adolescence and Elderly at the Federal Ministry of Health, while underscoring the issue of FGM, admitted that apart from the pains which the victims undergo, it is a deprivation of rights when a part of the female body is removed, adding: “It is a scourge we unanimously need to put a stop to in the country.”

These views were expressed during a press conference, on the launch of a national response to eliminate female genital mutilation in Nigeria, organised jointly by the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, UNICEF and UNFPA, at Lobito Hall, Abuja.

Mrs Iliyasu, quipped that the act of female child mutilation does not have any benefit, and it is a violation of the human right of such female child. She said the myth that we have believed over the years that uncircumcised women are promiscuous and not marriageable is harmful, and has short and long-term adverse effects on the female child.

While lamenting the high prevalence of the traditional practice in Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Lagos states, an interviewee who pleaded anonymity during a survey opined that some people earn a living from the practice. “The practice is humane, regardless of however it is being done. Even, very many times, those who are not mutilated are not lustful for men for sexual satisfaction,” he added.

Mrs Igbelina-Igbokwe charged the media to help champion the course by informing and educating Nigerians on need for the elimination of the barbaric act, saying: “We are in a civilised society, and such practice must be discontinued.”

Source: News Express

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