The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and other women groups on Saturday sensitised Lugbe community in the FCT on the ills of practicing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
This was part of activities to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FMG marked globally every Feb. 6 to create awareness of the harmful practice and to eradicate it across the world.
FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, a practice that has no health benefits for girls and women, declared as a violation of the right of the female gender.
The Minister, Mrs Pauline Tallen, said that they were in the community to educate them on the harmful implication of FGM on the life of women, society and urged them to desist from the practice.
Tallen, therefore, appealed to the traditional and religious leader, women groups, and youths to ensure stoppage of the practice as the government would prosecute anyone found guilty of practicing or supporting it.
Ms Ulla Mueller, the Country Representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Nigeria, said that there were no health benefits of FGM practice, but rather it posed a great danger to the survivor’s physical, psychological and mental health.
Mueller added that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the progress made toward achieving the Social Development Goals five – gender equality and eliminating violence against women and girls.
Ms Rhoda Tyoden, the National President of, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, warned the community to desist from practicing FGM as perpetrators were liable to spend four years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 or both.
Tyoden, therefore, advised women to unite in the fight against FGM as the practice had contributed to spousal problems, which had led to divorce.
President, FCT Traditional Rulers Wives Association, Hajiya Hauwa Adamu, reiterated the commitment of members towards taking the campaign to all the communities to bring an end to FGM practice.
Also, Ag. Director, Gender and Social Development Secretariat, FCTA, Asabe Umar, described the FGM practice as evil against human rights and a violation against women and girls.
Umar gave an assurance that the secretariat would join the campaign to end FGM practice by carrying out advocacy in all communities within the FCT.
On his part, the District Head of Lugbe community, Salihu Gode, assured the government and other stakeholders of his commitment towards ending the practice in his community.