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“Female Genital Mutilation, Violation Of Human Rights”

Female Genital Mutilation is the cutting that is done around the clitoris or any part of the female external genital for non medical reasons. It is usually practiced as a rite or tradition by most communities in Nigeria.

The female circumcision law makes it an offence for a female to be circumcised with or without her permission and also provides that no matter the belief or tradition of a particular community no female shall be circumcised as such an a t is an offence.

 Against this back drop, The Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Medical Women Association (MWAN) and the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in commemoration of the 2020 International Women's Day carried out an advocacy and sensitization campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Aminigboko  community in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of the state, where female genital cutting is still being practiced.

The three non- governmental organizations also intimated the people of the area on the legal implications of FGM and urged the traditional rulers, men, women and even the youths to as a matter of urgent importance refrain from all forms of female genital cutting for a better and healthier society.

Chronicling the bad effects of FGM, the president of MWAN, Dr Vetty Agala noted that the practice is a violation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law of the state.

She regretted that a lot of the things done in our communities are borne out of traditions that have been carried on over the years coupled with ignorance and expressed hope that the sensitization exercise will debunk all the myths surrounding female genital cutting in the area.

Dr Agala who hails from Aminigboko community where female genital cutting is a rite that must be performed on every woman in the sixth month of her first pregnancy described as fallacies the beliefs that any woman who refuses to carry out the rite will either die or loose her child.

She identified poverty as one the things promoting the act as most of the women who perform the exercise in the community do it for a fee and called for the empowerment of the women with skills that can divert their energies and at the same time serve as a source of income.

Female Genital Mutilation causes difficulty in delivery because when the wound is healed, depending on the type of genital cutting that was done, the normal cervical stretching during labour becomes impossible leading to cervical tears.

More so,apart from being a painful process where a woman is held bound while the procedure is carried out, there is the danger of infection because the sharp instruments used in performing the obnoxious act are used on different women at the same time without any form of sterilization.

The major reason for female genital cutting is to reduce promiscuity on the part of the woman which is a myth. This is because clitoris is the most sensitive part of the woman's body and when it is cut, she is made sexually insensitive.

This implies that rather than making her stop desiring sex, she finds it difficult to be satisfied hence she moves from one man to another in search of a man who can perform better when in the actual sense, she has lost that sensitivity.

The truth remains that there is no value in female genital cutting at all, and instead of stopping promiscuity as claimed by those who practice it, it is actually the cause of it.

Unlike men's circumcision that is biblical, improves their health, reduces urinary tract infections and helps them urinate better, female genital cutting poses a lot of problems for women.

Female Genital Mutilation is a breach of Human Rights because Woman Rights are Human Rights. There is therefore urgent need to stop all forms of genital cutting, whether it is the full cut of the clitoris or part of it because it has no benefit.