UNICEF calls for action on Female Genital Mutilation
…….takes campaign to Ebony Monday
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on governments, civil society organisations traditional and religious leaders to join hands to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) and cutting of Nigerias.
Speaking to news men to mark the fourth coming world International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, the Head of UNICEF Enugu Field Office Charles Nzuki said FGM has serious negative consequences and impart of the girls.
He said that UNICEF is supporting governments both at the federal, state level and also working with civil society organisation to mobilize stake holders to end female genital mutilation and cutting in Nigeria.
“Basically on a local data in Nigeria we have very high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in a number of states, the highest is in Osun, which has 77 percent, followed by Ebonyi state with 74 percent according to the Nigerian Demographic health survey, other states with very high rate including Ekiti, Imo in south east of Nigeria and Oyo”, he said.
He emphasised, that
Seven or even close to eight out of every 10 women have had FGM, hence UNICEF is working with government to eradicate it as a result of its harmful effect on women, noting that UNICEF see it as a violation of women’s right and the right of girls.
He further said that although it was a national campaign, UNICEF was working hard to create extra awareness in those states with very high prevalence rate. Pointing out that Monday February 6 UNICEF would be going to have a major event in Ebonyi state, where the wife of the governor will host the programme on ending female Genital mutilation campaign in the
“You recall that last year the wife of the president launched a campaign to end female genital mutilation in the country and UNICEF has been working with the state governments”.
Despite the major event coming up in Ebonyi state, he said UNICEF had also a similar event in Imo state last year and of course working with Osun and Ekiti states and other states in south west where high rate of FGM are noticed. They are quit a number of harmful effects of FGM on women especially on regard to their health. It is a major contributor of maternal mortality rate, It causes severe bleeding ,sometimes resulting to death, other health problems including cysts , infection , infertility as well as complications among others.
“One of the key interesting things that I think is importance to mention is every where we have gone even with the engagement of the traditional rulers they emphasised that this is not part of the culture that they wants to retain”.
Also in a release UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Mohamed Fall, stressed that “Every study and every bit of evidence we have shows there is absolutely no benefit, be it developmental, health or religion, to mutilate or cut for non-medical reasons any girl or women”.
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