About 20 mil­li­on FGM vic­tims in Ni­ge­ria

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

NI­GE­RIA - About 20 mil­li­on wo­men and girls in Ni­ge­ria ha­ve un­der­go­ne fe­ma­le ge­ni­tal mu­ti­la­ti­on, 10% of the glo­bal to­tal, ac­cor­ding to a com­pre­hen­si­ve re­port re­lea­sed on Tues­day.

Ma­ny Ni­ge­ri­an girls are cut as in­fants (16% be­fo­re their first bir­th­day), and 82% of wo­men who ha­ve had FGM say that they we­re cut be­fo­re the age of fi­ve, says cha­ri­ty 28 Too Ma­ny.

Mo­re than 200 mil­li­on girls and wo­men ali­ve to­day ha­ve been sub­jec­ted to FGM, which the World He­alth Or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on de­fi­nes as pro­ce­du­res that in­ten­ti­o­nal­ly al­ter or cau­se in­ju­ry to the fe­ma­le ge­ni­tal or­gans for non-me­di­cal rea­sons. In May 2015 Ni­ge­ria’s out­go­ing pre­si­dent Good­luck Jo­na­than ban­ned FGM, but the­re remains an in­con­sis­ten­cy bet­ween the pas­sing and en­for­ce­ment of laws across the coun­try.

The au­thors say that whi­le a ma­jo­ri­ty of Ni­ge­ri­ans do not want the prac­ti­ce to con­ti­nue, the­re is no one cen­tral­ly fun­ded bo­dy brin­ging an­tiFGM or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons to­gether to achie­ve the abandon­ment of the bar­ba­ric prac­ti­ce, which can cau­se in­fer­ti­li­ty, ma­ter­nal de­ath, in­fec­ti­on and the loss of sexu­al plea­su­re.

“The re­port is a wa­ke-up call about the re­a­li­ty fa­cing grass­roots ac­ti­vists in Ni­ge­ria,” said the exe­cu­ti­ve di­rec­tor and foun­der of the cha­ri­ty, Dr An­nMa­rie Wil­son.

Os­un sta­te re­cords the hig­hest pre­va­len­ce at 76.6%, North- East Zo­ne has the lo­west pre­va­len­ce (2.9%) and the sta­te of Kat­sina in North-West Zo­ne re­cords the lo­west pre­va­len­ce at 0.1%, ac­cor­ding to the re­port.

Ho­we­ver, pre­va­len­ce fi­gu­res ac­cor­ding to pla­ce of re­si­den­ce may not be an in­di­ca­tor of whe­re FGM has ac­tu­al­ly ta­ken pla­ce, the au­thors warn: “The Ni­ge­ri­an po­pu­la­ti­on is be­co­ming in­cre­a­sin­gly mo­bi­le, both so­ci­al­ly and eco­no­mi­cally, re­sul­ting in in­crea­sed in­ter­mar­ria­ge and a blur­ring of tra­di­ti­o­nal pla­ces of re­si­den­ce, eth­ni­ci­ty and re­li­gious dis­tinc­ti­ons in the prac­ti­ce of FGM.” Grass­roots or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons in Ni­ge­ria ha­ve told the Gu­ar­di­an of ma­ny ca­ses whe­re girls and wo­men ha­ve been ta­ken from ur­ban to ru­ral are­as to un­der­go FGM. Alt­hough FGM is not re­qui­red by any re­li­gious script, 15% of wo­men and 23.6% of men be­lie­ve it is re­qui­red by their re­li­gi­on. Over­all, 64.3% of wo­men and 62.1% of men be­lie­ve that FGM should be stop­ped in Ni­ge­ria, the re­port found.

Ho­we­ver, in­crea­sed mo­bi­le pho­ne use among the youn­ger ge­ne­ra­ti­on has gi­ven ri­se to so­me de­gree of ho­pe in sprea­ding news of the dangers of this of­ten ta­boo is­sue.

“The­re is now a lar­ge, young po­pu­la­ti­on with in­crea­sed ac­cess to in­for­ma­ti­on through pho­nes, and an in­crea­sed use of so­ci­al me­dia of­fers new op­por­tu­ni­ties for trans­mit­ting in­for­ma­ti­on about the dangers of FGM,” the au­thors con­clu­de.

(the­gu­ar­di­an)

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