Nigeria attempts to end female genital mutilation Nigeria launches campaign to end female genital mutilation and cutting 'within a generation'

Fighting against FGM

Fighting against FGM

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – Nigeria on Tuesday launched a campaign to end female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C ) “within a generation”, with stakeholders calling the practice an extreme form of violence against women and girls.

“I also urge the wives of governors, particularly those from states where this harmful practice is rampant, to be the voice of the campaign to end FGM/C in their various states,” wife of Nigeria’s President Aisha Buhari said at the launch of the initiative in capital city Abuja.

“We are mothers and women and have the primary role to use our privileged positions to make lives better for Nigerians, especially women and girls. I urge you to be vocal on the need for FGM/C to end in Nigeria and take action that will enable this to happen,” she added.

The initiative will include campaigns to spread information about the danger of the practice, according to the anti-FGM coalition which includes the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF and several NGOs.

“Not one of the myths surrounding this practice has any basis in truth,” said UNICEF Nigeria Representative Jean Gough at the launch of the national response. “The only truth is that on every level this is a harmful and brutal practice that has a detrimental impact on the health and the human rights of women and girls.”

Nigeria hopes to eradicate the practice within the next 20 years. Campaigners say up to 19.9 million Nigerian women have undergone the painful procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Experts say it exposes women to severe or sometimes life-threatening health complications. They add that women who have undergone FGM/C are twice as likely to die during childbirth.

© 2016, Rafiu Ajakaye. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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