As the world marks the annual international day for the elimination of violence against women and girls, a group, HACEY Health Initiative, has solicited the support of stakeholders to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria. The group, during its StopCut conference held at the Ibadan Business School, Bodija, Ibadan, also warned those involved in the practice to desist because of the numerous negative consequences
Speaking on the conference theme: “Advancing Policy and Actions for FGM-Free Nigeria”, the Executive Director, HACEY Health Initiative, Miss. Rhoda Robinson noted that lots of dangers are inherent in female genital mutilation, adding that medical hazards and peril can happen during circumcision which could lead to many issues, including contraction of virus, inability to get pregnant, operation of pregnancy, stillbirth, and death of a pregnant woman. She disclosed that it has been resolved globally that in 2030 there must be no girl in the world that will be circumcised. She said “Female genital mutilation is a harmful traditional practice that causes untold harm to a woman’s health both mentally psychologically and sexually.
“This is a traditional practice that we need to put an end to. it is entrenched in cultures of a lot of communities which makes it very difficult to end. And today is key to stakeholders who have been working well between the three states, Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo in implementing our project to come together and discuss the future of ending FGM and our goal is to end FGM by 2030.“But today, we are looking at how far we have gone and what more we need to do to end female genital mutilation. As part of our activities, we are also launching research that is done by the organization through the StopCut project to end the female genital mutilation through the Oyo, Ekiti, and Osun States.”
“Osun State has recorded a decrease in FGM. With this, we are moving towards progress but there is still a long way to go especially in passing the information to the community.”
Also in his remark, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Tunde Ladipo stated that Oyo State, compared to other Southwest states, has the largest population, which makes it difficult to drive home the call for the end to female genital mutilation.
He said “From the report that is coming in, quite a lot has been done. We have been a bit more ahead of other states. But, we have to understand that Oyo State, compared to other southwest states has the largest population except for Lagos State.“With that, you will understand that a lot more is going on behind the scenes that we need to put more efforts towards more to getting the better out of it.“And I will implore the communities most especially our mothers most of these issues are being championed by women in the first place and our mothers will come to understand that these are things we will want behind us.”
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.