Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, which has now been described as another form of pandemic is an agelong common practice in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
According to experts, FGM is more prevalent in Nigeria due to immense social pressure connected to some forms of cultural practices among others.
Research reveals that 200 million women and girls have been victims of FGM globally while Nigeria alone accounts for the highest number of victims who have undergone FGM worldwide.
In the quest to end the act, a Non – Governmental Organisation, the HACEY Health initiative embarked what it referred to as “Stop the Cut” project with a press conference to update journalists about challenges, and brainstorm on more strategies to end female genital mutilation.
Addressing participants, Oyo State Female Genital Mutilation Coordinator, Balkis Olawoyin, advocated men, especially husbands involvement as critical stakeholders who can help put an end to the practice of FGM.
“If men can insist that they do not want to marry ladies who are mutilated, it will go a long way to discourage female genital mutilation”.
On her part, former President, Association of Women Lawyers, FIDA in Oyo State, Barrister Oluyemisi Collins, expressed her displeasure over the culture of silence, which she described as a major hindrance to getting justice and bringing perpetrators of FGM to book.
Barr. Collins who insisted that FGM is a form of abuse of human rights of girls and women, called for synergy to put an end to the act.
Earlier, HACEY`S Health Initiative Monitor and evaluation officer, Mr. Emmanuel Oni, described FGM as a silent pandemic that poses great threats to the survival, development, and productivity of girls and women.
Mr. Oni disclosed that, over 2000 stakeholders including community members and leaders have been trained on the consequences of the harmful practice of FGM.
While leading the Dialogue Session, Chairperson Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ In Oyo State, Mrs. Jadesola Ajibola, explained the short and long-term health risk of FGM, which include low self-esteem, Marital crisis severe pains, excessive bleeding, infections, and maternal mortality among others.
She called on journalists to take more interest in writing and broadcasting towards informing the public about the evils associated with FGM
It will be recalled that the HACEY Health initiative with funding from the United Nations Trust Fund for ending violence against women, launched the stop cut project to reduce activities of female genital mutilation in three of Nigeria’s southwest states.
The project has directly reached thousands of women in Oyo, Ekiti, and Osun States.