Female Genital Mutilation:Nigeria Ranks 3rd In Global Prevalence – UNICEF
The United Nations Children’s Fund,UNICEF says an estimated 19.9 million Nigerian women have undergone Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting , approximately 16% of the 125 million FGM/C survivors worldwide.
UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist,Maryam Enyiazu who stated this at a two-day UNICEF media dialogue”Media partnership towards female genital mutilation/cutting abandonment in Nigeria” that 82% of women in Nigeria undergo FGM before age 5.
“However, due to its large population, Nigeria has the third highest absolute number of women and girls (19.9 million) who have undergone FGM/C worldwide ,after Egypt and Ethiopia,”she said.
Accordng to her” FGM is more prevalent in the southern zones than in the northern zones. States with the highest prevalence Osun (77%), Ebonyi (74%) , Ekiti (72%), Imo (68%) and Oyo (66%)”
UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist who observed that those promoting the practice are mainly grandmothers and mother-in-laws that although majority of men and women prefer the practice of FGM to be discontinued, it remains a major problem within specific communities.
Gender Analyst ,United Nations Population Fund,UNFPA ,Damilola Obinna,during a presentation on female genital cutting and the female child said FGM violates the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and women.
According to her ,Girls and women that have undergone FGM are 70% more likely to suffer hemorrhage after giving birth and are twice as likely to die during childbirth.
The president,Inter-African Committee on FGM,Professor Modupe Onadeko said there was need for the federal government to take responsibility,create political support and raise awareness to end FGM.
Prof.Onadeko who advocated for relevant laws on FGM to be domesticated called for community involvement to ensure the right platform was created.
UNICEF, Chief Of Communication,Doune Porter called for the support of the media to end FGM in Nigeria.
The World Health Organization (WHO) 1997 described FGM as “any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organ for non medical reasons.”
FGM is also known as “female Genital Cutting (FGC)”, “Female Circumcision”, or “Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)