When CEE- HOPE sensitises Lagos communities on dangers of FGM

By sdnonline

As part of the efforts to bring to fore the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) has urged Lagos communities to refrain from encouraging the undesirable cultural practice. This was the hallmark of seminar organised to mark the 2023 International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation.

The seminar, which held at the International Press Centre Conference room in Ogba had participants drawn from various Lagos communities, including, Monkey Village, Makoko among others

In her welcome remarks, the Executive Director, CEE-HOPE, Betty Abah noted that in many parts of Nigeria, and other African countries, there is a culture of Female Genital Mutilation otherwise known as female circumcision.

She noted that it is human right violation that should not be encourage.
According to her:
“Why it is even more dangerous is that so many girls every year die in the process because when they cut the clitoris, some of them bleed to death and even these traditional women may use only one razor for over a hundred girls and thereby infect them. That is why the United Nations set aside the day to sensitise people against the act.”

Abah advised those present at the seminar to take the message against female genital mutilation to their various communities and also report anyone caught in the act.

Addressing the participants, Executive Director, Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP), Bose Ironsi, bemoaned that Nigeria is still ranking very high in terms of prevalence of female genital mutilation.

She said that the day is celebrated globally to create awareness and sensitise the general public when it comes to the issue of female genital mutilation.

“Nigeria is still ranking very high in terms of prevalence of female genital mutilation, a lot has also been done because there are a lot of people that are no longer practicing it, but some of them have gone underground, because there is a law passed by the Federal Government. What you find out is that a lot of people are not doing it openly; they have now decided to go underground. There are a lot of sensitisation, a lot of changing the mindset as to why they are doing it.

“If you really look at why they are doing it, there is no medical reason to why they are doing it, but they are doing it because of cultural reasons. And it is against the rights of the female,” she said.

She explained that with the sensitisation, they are trying to change the mindset of people practicing it, noting that one of the main reasons for female genital mutilation is because they do not want the lady to be promiscuous.

“Circumcision has no bearing on virginity, and it even causes more harm. It has no medical reason, rather it brings a lot of pain, depression, even death. Some of them are having mental issues, some of them have bled to death, some of them are having issues with even allowing men to touch them.

“Men need to be engaged, let them be the one that will advocate that they will rather want to marry a woman that is not circumcised than marry a woman that is circumcised. If the men are saying this, then, there will be no problem,” she charged.

Some of the female participants who had been circumcised shared their gory experiences at the seminar, stating that they would not allow their girl child to go through the painful experience.


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