from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – A MAJORITY of Nigerians are advocating for the end of female genital mutilation (FGM).
They are supporting the enactment of a law to curb the practice, mainly due to the health complications associated with it.
This support is in line with the efforts of the United Nations Population Fund to fully eradicate the practice of FGM by 2030 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which prohibit any form of harmful practices against people, especially children and women.
A poll conducted ahead of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM which is observed on February 6 every year, indicated 88 percent of Nigerians are against this cultural practice.
FGM, also known as female circumcision, comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognised internationally as a violation of human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.
According to reports, about 20 million women and girls have been mutilated.
With about 200 million women and girls have been mutilated globally, this implies that a tenth of the population of mutilated women in the world is Nigerian.
Coincidentally, Nigeria’s total population is estimated at 200 million.
Although the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) was passed into law in Nigeria in 2015 to criminalise FGM, lack of enforcement of the law is an issue, given that it has not been domesticated in states.
Currently, 13 out of 36 states in Nigeria have their own individual state laws expressly prohibiting FGM.
– CAJ News