What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?
Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, excision or genital cutting, comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injuries to the genital organs for non-medical reasons.
The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women. Because it is usually performed without permission and often against will, it violates girls’ right to make important decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
Report says at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone a form of female genital mutilation (FGM). An additional 2 million girls could undergo FGM by 2030 as a result of COVID-19, on top of the 68 million cases which had previously been anticipated.
We encourage other communities where female genital mutilation is being practice to follow the example set by the Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo. In 2021, thirty-one communities in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State Nigeria declared an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the area.
Report says the Chairman, Imo Traditional Institution in the Local Government Area and also the traditional ruler of Iheme Izuogu Community, Eze Kosman Kanu, made the declaration for the abandonment of FGM in the area. He commended the support partners, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) for their enduring commitment to the course. He added that the declaration was in line with the state’s anti-FGM law (2017). “We, the 31 communities in Ideato North have reached a consensus to declare on this day that FGM is prohibited and abolished from our land in accordance with the Imo anti FGM law (2017). “Any person who is found guilty of FGM will be made to pay a fine of N100,000 to the community in addition to other provisions of the law, and we shall hand them over for prosecution,” he said.
The UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Enugu, Ibrahim Conteh, commended the communities for the move while urging them to sustainably implement the declaration. Conteh, represented by Mr Benjamin Mbakwem, UNICEF Consultant for FGM in Imo and Ebonyi, recommended that surveillance teams be set up in the different communities so as to ensure compliance with the declaration. “UNICEF is in solidarity with the good people of Ideato North on this feat, and we kindly urge that this momentum be maintained, and resolutions sustainably implemented. “We also hope that a functional community surveillance team will be put in place to ensure compliance in collaboration with the Imo government and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
The NOA Director in Imo, Mr Vitus Ekeocha, called for all hands to be on deck to ensure effective implementation of the declaration.
The Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Imo Chapter, Mrs Chisara Egwim- Chima, said in line with extant laws, violators of the declaration would either serve a 14-year jail term, pay the sum of N250,000 or receive both punishments. She urged the communities to abide by the resolutions to avoid the dire consequences of disobedience. (NAN)
We must work together to end female genital mutilation (FGM).
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