Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been described as harmful tradition and cultural practice that must be eradicated across Ogun State.
The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Olufunmilayo Efuwape stated this in her keynote address at a programme commemorating this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, held at Yewa South Local Government Secretariat in Ilaro.
Efuwape pointed out that girls who undergo female genital mutilation suffer short-term complications, severe pains and excessive bleeding, as well as infections amongst others.
According to her, “today is a special day to raise a campaign against this harmful traditional and cultural practice, also to increase awareness and mobilization against it. I am proud to be among so many champions in the cause of eliminating female genital mutilation. This is a procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to the genital organs of girls and women and has been recognized internationally as violation of the human right which has been declared as illegal by United Nations. It is a global issue that must be eradicated.
“Globally, there are more than 750 million women who are living with the consequences of child marriage and over 200 million women from more than 30 countries who are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. These are not just women’s issue. When you force a young girl to get married at such as early age, you are giving someone the right to rape her every single day. Often times when we talk about child marriage, we don’t think about it that way”.
Hon. Efuwape stated that practice of female genital mutilation was prevalent in the uncivilized part of the State, adding that people who engaged in the practice according to a research, do so in respect to the culture and tradition of their community.
The Commissioner said that the elimination of the practice requires coordinated and systematic effort of all and sundry especially the people in rural communities, stating that more focus should be on human right, gender equality, sexual education and attention to the needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences.
Remarking, the Transition Chairman of Yewa South Local Government, Alhaji Ramon Fagbenro called for the support of the citizens of the Council area, especially the traditional rulers and religious leaders in the campaign against female genital mutilation, advising parents who engaged in the practice to desist from it, as such harmful practice could jeopardize the life of their female children.
Delivering lecture at the event, the Guest Lecturer, Mrs. Funmi Olatunji, pointed out that, there was no single benefit in the practice while calling on stakeholders to help spread the needs to end the erroneous violence against women because all women have the right to enjoy their sexual life, adding that the United Nation was working assiduously towards ending the practice globally by the year 2030.
In their different good will messages, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Women Affairs, Hon. Adijat Adeleye Oladapo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr. Ranti Oladeinde, the Head of Local Government Administration of Yewa South Local Government, Ms. Iyabo Ayorinde, as well as the wife of the Council’s Transition Chairman, Alhaja Aishat Fagbenro, urged everyone present at the event to spread the message, especially among the people living in the rural areas and support the state government’s campaign on the need to put an end to the harmful practice.