Nigeria: FG, UN Launch Movement to End Female Genital Mutilation

Federal government, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched a movement to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria.

The initiative, tagged “Movement for Good to End FGM” targets to mobilise five million Nigerians to “Act to End FGM”.

Female genital mutilation is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Speaking during the launch in Abuja, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale, said the medicalisation of FGM in Nigeria remains a threat in states like Ekiti, Oyo and Osun.

He said although the prevalence has reduced, analysis of the data demonstrates a new pattern of mutilation through medicalisation is on the increase, adding that 86 per cent of these children were mutilated before the age of five, which means that the risk of FGM is greater at early years of life.

He said: “What this tells us is that the perpetuators of this crime are devising a way to 8Ydiminish the gains made towards the eradication of FGM in Nigeria by targeting infants who don’t know the magnitude of the practice they are being subjected to.”

The UN representative said there are no psychological of biological benefits from FGM, saying it is a practice which violate women and girls right to life, health and dignity.

Schmale said the time to end FGN in Nigeria is now and the responsibility to do so lies with us all.

“The movement we are launching today will support innovative and safe platform driven by young people.

The minister of women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, said there is no health benefit from FGM, instead it destroys the woman.

She said eliminating FGM is critical to protecting the health and dignity of girls, saying that the practice of FGM is an offense punishable by the law.