United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had undertaken various interventions over the years in contributing to the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Nigeria.
These interventions have been majorly directed towards advocacy for national and state policies in eradicating FGM/C, strengthening health response for FGM/C survivors, social norms change campaign including community dialogues and discussions to build consensus for the abandonment of FGM/C.
UNFPA and UNICEF joint programme for the abandonment of FGM in Nigeria commenced implementation in 2014 focusing on the following strategic areas – legislation and policy advocacy change, health system capacity strengthening,, social norms change, coordination, data, research and documentation. States supported by the joint programme for different levels of programming are Imo, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Oyo, Lagos and Osun.
Further to the development of a joint plan and programme implementation in four states; Osun, Ekiti, Imo, Lagos, Oyo and Ebonyi; UNFPA and UNICEF supported the baseline and situational assessment on the prevalence of FGM/C and social drives for FGM/C.
This provided a basis for the implementation of activities in focal states and communities. Partners include government agencies (Health & Women Affairs) at nation and state levels; NGOs/CSOs, Population Council, Girl Generation, SOGON, Nurse and Midwifery Council, Media organizations, National Human Rights Commission etc.
UNFPA in collaboration with the Guardian UK in 2015, organized launch of the FGM programme in Nigeria, which created an opportunity to mobilize and motivate action to accelerate efforts towards eradicating FGM in Nigeria. This launch effort was also supported by UNFPA at state levels – Imo, Ekiti, Lagos, Osun, Oyo and Ebonyi.
It is in this regards that UNFPA supported Women of Divine Destiny Initiative (WODDI), an NGO in Imo state to the tune of $30,000.00 grant. The same amount of money ($30,000.00) was also provided to two other states namely Osun, and Ebonyi. The activities implemented with the grant includes
Media Campaign: Press Briefing and engagement
Advocacy for passing of the Bill-Meeting with House Assembly
Launch of the Campaign hosted by WODDI and other stakeholders,
Mobilization and awareness summit with stakeholders and traditional rulers across the LGAs etc.
Campaign and Awareness rising Youth LEADERSHIP AND CITIZENSHIP Summit and OUTREACH PROGRAMME
Hosting of high profile Meeting on FGM/C with wives of southern Governors, hosted Community abandonment ceremonies
In contrast to 10 Billion Naira reported online 245uReport, UNFPA provided support to the tune of $30,000 only to WODDI and not 10 billion Naira as erroneously reported.
The funding of $30,000 was also made available to support similar activities in Ebonyi and Osun states.
UNFPA appreciated the support of all stakeholders to accelerate the abandonment of FGM/C in line with her mandate to improve the status of women and girls and promote the achievement of women empowerment and gender equality – a panacea to improving the reproductive health of women and girls.
UNFPA, the Guardian UK and other critical partners will continue to support innovative approaches that will galvanize action at community and all levels to end FGM/C in Nigeria. UNFPA is committed to ensure that all pregnancy is wanted, child birth is safe and young persons have the requisite potentials to contribute meaningfully to mainstream development.
As a result, UNFPA is interested to end harmful traditional practices that impact negatively on the health and status of women and girls.