International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
FGM is still widely practiced in different parts of the country because of varied erroneous tribal/ traditional beliefs and practices.
It is practiced based on superstitious beliefs which range from the preservation of chastity and family honor, to ensuring perceived purification and hygiene, or for the protection of virginity and prevention of promiscuity; not to mention enhancing fertility and increasing matrimonial opportunities in women.
Other fears for which its use is said to protect include – to prevent mother and child from dying during childbirth; while in some communities it enables one to inherit property if circumcised
These totally wrong beliefs (though unproven as correct) remain strongly engraved in the minds of the people and are still widely practiced in Nigeria with young girls being coerced and pressured by family members for forced circumcision. This is FGM and it is a GBV!
As the world marks the International Day for Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, FIDA Nigeria points out the fact that these practices and beliefs which still persist must be stopped.
FIDA being steadfast in the fight to prevent and end this needless and ugly trend in Nigeria calls on all to work collectively with us to stop these myths and misinformation still very prevalent in the society
In Nigeria, 25 per cent of women and girls, aged 15-49, have undergone some form of FGM (UNFPA). This most unfortunate practice of mutilating the girl child has subjected many to physical, emotional, and psychological trauma.
Note that Section 11 of the Childs Right Act 2013 protects the right to dignity of the child, while Section 6 of the Violence Against Persons prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015, expressly prohibits FGM
With this year’s theme focused on Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation, we encourage everyone to join this fight where we also aggressively invest in different programmes to provide support services responding to those at risk and vulnerable to such practices.
We must enforce the applicable laws while fortifying institutional capacity to address and eradicate FGM (female genital mutilation)
Girls must be informed and empowered to act fast protecting themselves; and must also be able to easily access health care and protective service when in urgent need
Additionally other activities lined up in commemoration of this day by FIDA Nigeria across her 43 branches include to carry out Advocacy visits to community leaders and persons of influence in different communities, hold town hall meetings with traditional and faith-based leaders to sensitize them on key issues and the harmful nature and dangers of FGM.
We shall continue to do all within our mandate to fight against Female Genital Mutilation and shall work to ensure that women and children can live freely in society without fear of FGM and GBV
FIDA NIGERIA stands against Female Genital Mutilation; let us Accelerate Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation!
Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje
Country Vice President/National President
Christiana Oyanvutu Adejumo
National Publicity Secretary