A cross section of media professionals in Ekiti State was on Tuesday equipped with better knowledge on the dangers inherent in the practice of Female Genital Mutilation. The capacity building workshop which was organized by HACEY Health Initiative in partnership with Spotlight Initiative is aimed at preparing the participants for effective media advocacy on the need to stop the harmful traditional practice.
Speaking during the workshop, a medical expert Mrs. Olukemi Akinleye highlighted some of the dangers of FGM to include excessive bleeding, infection, urinal disorder, stillbirth, and even death. According to Mrs. Akinleye, the practice of FGM has no benefit to the woman or girl child hence no stone must be left unturned towards eradicating the practice.
She affirmed that the belief that FGM was to check promiscuity was very untrue saying parents only needed to give better sex education to their children.
Also, a staff of HACEY, Oluwatomi Olunuga who made a presentation on baseline findings on FGM urged journalists to use their platforms to educate people at the grassroots on the need to stop the act saying many people still lacked knowledge about the practice.
Speaking on the legal aspect of the practice, a legal practitioner Mrs. Rita Ilevbare noted that FGM had been criminalized in Ekiti State adding that culprits were liable to one-year imprisonment.
Mrs. Ilevbare who spoke through one of her colleagues Mrs. Blessing Ajileye called on journalists to be strategic while questioning victims of FGM by avoiding words that are demeaning adding that stories for FGM events must also be carefully written in such a way that it would not subject the victim to ridicule and stigmatization.
She advised people to report cases of FGM to security agents and CSOs for prompt action.