Female Genital Mutilation violates human rights, has no health benefits – FG


 

The federal government has again warned of the adverse effects of Female Genital Mutilation, insisting it is a crime against humanity, with no scientific benefits in medicine or healthcare and leads to grave health consequences for the female gender.

Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire and that of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen gave the warning while calling for an end to the practice described as ancient and crude by health professionals.

Female genital mutilation is a traditional practice in most of Africa, involving the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia, causing injury to the sex organ.

Widely recognised as a violation of human rights, deeply rooted in culture, the practice has seen over 200 million girls and women circumcised in 30 African countries.

With an estimated 19.9 million survivors, Nigeria accounts for 10% of the 200 million FGM survivors.

The south zone of Nigeria is estimated to record the highest prevalence of FGM, with 77% of adult women cut. The southeast follows with 68% and the southwest zone at 65%.

At an event with the theme, ”Movement For Good to End Female Genital Mutilation,” organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Dame Tallen said there was no excuse to condone mutilating females in the name of culture.

She insisted that mutilation can never be done properly, considering the unsanitised tools and crude methods of the practice.

Tallen said, “There is no way that Female Genital Mutilation can ever be properly done. It is condemnable. It is a crime against humanity, it is evil and must be stopped”.

She appealed to duty bearers in communities to be ambassadors against FGM, emphasising that eliminating FGM was crucial to realising many of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Minister of Health Ehanire in his charge affirmed that the federal government has the moral obligation to increase material and financial support to eliminate the harmful practice

He warned of the social consequences of FGM in many Nigerian communities, stressing that investment to end it must be accelerated.

”It is our moral obligation to increase material and financial support to eliminate this harmful practice of female genital mutilation, a procedure that attempts to remove external female genitalia supposedly for cultural therapeutic reasons”.

“We do not leave out health workers, especially in five states of Bauchi, Imo, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo for the movement for good to end FGM in Nigeria. This is a call upon us to step up investments to end this practice in Nigeria”.

Meanwhile, the United Nations envoy to Nigeria, Mathias Schmaltz, says despite Nigeria’s commitment to global targets to end FGM, the country still trails behind.

He explained that only change in cultural values, political will, data availability, public awareness and advocacy can trigger a reduction in the prevalence of FGM practice.

Schmaltz tasked the federal government to ensure increased funding and undertake preventive services for survivors of FGM.

“Nigeria has made a strong commitment to ending FGM by 2030, with less than 7years to go, we are unfortunately seriously off track as the numbers show, to end FGM by 2030”, says Schmaltz.

”There are no known psychological or biological benefits of the practice, therefore, the time to end FGM in Nigeria is now and the responsibility lies with all of us”.

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