At least 200 million women and girls in 31 countries around the world are living with the results of the dangerous practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), according to a report by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The practice is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is violence perpetrated against women and girls. It is the total or partial removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons and Nigeria records over 20 million women and girls who have been exposed to this inhumane practice, with many more at risk.
Most of the 31 countries where FGM is practiced have legislated against it. However, until social norms change, the practice continues in secret. HACEY Health Initiative is educating and empowering communities to end FGM.
Hence, to commemorate the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women observed every November 25th, HACEY Health Initiative, through its StopCut project is set to host a conference;
– To launch the report on the state of our laws on FGM.
– To premiere the StopCut documentary.
– To bring key stakeholders together to discuss current progress in ending FGM, existing barriers, available opportunities, and required strategies towards ending FGM by 2030.
– To share insight from our female genital mutilation research efforts.
The conference which will have physical and virtual access will feature panelist discussions on Adopting Laws and policies to end FGM by 2030 and Unleashing the power of stories in promoting community action to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It is strongly believed that the knowledge and resources gathered during the conference would play a crucial role in identifying strategies to promote actions to end FGM across prevalent areas in Nigeria.
HACEY in 2020 initiated the StopCut project in 3 of the states with the highest prevalence of FGM in Nigeria – Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo state, with the aim to protect women and girls from FGM by creating awareness on existing protective laws and policies, and promoting their effective implementation.
The project through advocacy, capacity building, research, and education strategies in communities engaged and trained state and community key stakeholders to advocate for the enforcement of FGM laws and policies, created awareness on FGM, and promoted increased reporting of FGM incidents. It has trained 96 media personnel, engaged 274 traditional and community leaders in 72 Communities in Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo state.
Written by Titilayo Fakeye