Group Reiterates Calls to Eliminate FGM

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Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI) Archives » BROAD NEWS — WITHIN NIGERIA

Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), an Abuja-based NGO, has reiterated calls for the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria.

Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the group, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

NAN reports that Feb. 6 has been set aside every year for the commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Ikokwu, who spoke on the 2023 theme; “Partnership with Men and Boys to transform Social and gender Norms to End FGM”, advocated a synergy of all genders to end the practice.

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According to her, the practice is a total downgrading and disfiguring of the female gender.

“Female Genital Mutilation has no medical benefits and is recognise internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.

“Medical experts say that girls who undergo female genital mutilation face short-term complications such as severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding and infections, and difficulty in passing urine as well as long-term consequences for their sexual and reproductive and mental health,” she said.

Ikokwu, who called for sustainable effort in ending the practice, said “according to ‘United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 25 per cent of women and girls, aged 15 to 49 years of age, have undergone some form of FGM in Nigeria.”

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She affirmed the decline in the prevalence of the practice globally in the last 25 years.

Ikokwu said: “Today, a girl is one-third less likely to undergo FGM than 30 years ago.”

The culture advocate, however, expressed optimism in sustaining the progress made, which is aimed at achieving gender equality and the elimination of FGM by 2030.

She called for coordinated effort of communities to promote elimination of FGM focusing on human rights, gender equality, sexual education and attention to the needs of women and girls. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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