Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a destructive practice that has no health benefit in the society.
The Director, Centre for Gender Youth and Child Development, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Mabel Ifeoma Onwuka who disclosed this, called for a collaborative effort to end FGM in Nigeria.
Fielding questions from newsmen in commemoration of International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM 2024 in Umuahia, Abia State today, Prof. Onwuka who the practice, maintained that it has no health benefits for girls and women.
Prof. Onwuka said that the practice causes severe bleeding, urinating problems, cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
The Professor of Soil Science, further revealed that over 200 million women and girls within the age of 15 to 49 years are living with the consequences of FGM worldwide, while Nigeria with a total of 19.9 million females is listed as having the world’s third highest number of females who have undergone FGM.
She described this year’s theme; Her Voice, Her Future, as apt and timely, calling on government at all levels, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other critical stakeholders to promote the elimination of female genital mutilation, through collaborative and systematic efforts.
In her words: “There’s an urgent need to invest sufficiently to reach the target set in the Sustainable Development Goals of eliminating FGM by 2030”.
She added that MOUAU, through its Centre for Gender Youth and Child Development is open for collaboration with relevant agencies to amplify the voices of survivors and support their efforts to reclaim their lives, based on their bodily autonomy.
Prof. Onwuka maintained that the time is riped for a collective efforts to eliminate this unhealthy practice against humans.
This, she said violates women and girls’ rights to health, right to be free from torture and inhuman treatment, right to security and physical integrity.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), according to WHO is traditionally known as female circumcision, refers to all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, a practice that has no health benefits.
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is commemorated on the 6th of February every year.
This year is the 13th anniversary of this international day and the theme is ‘Her Voice. Her Future.
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