Female genital mutilation violates Child Rights Act — Consultant

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Lead Consultant with Save Visions Africa, Dr Peter Okereke, has said that the continued practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria violates the Child Rights Act signed into law in 2011.

Okereke said this at a one day Grassroots Civic Education Seminar with the theme ‘‘Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in this Generation’’.
Save Visions Africa, an NGO, said the seminar was organised to create awareness among grassroots people on the dangers of continued practice of FGM.

“Statistics show that 16 per cent of infant girl-children were cut under age one while 82 per cent were circumcised before the age of five years.

“Traditionally, 87 per cent of girls between age zero and 14 and 80 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 years were cut by a local circumcisers or traditional birth attendants.’’

According to him, 12 per cent of girls and 13 per cent of women are circumcised by medical professionals who include doctors, nurses and midwives, among others.

Furthermore, he said that 27 per cent of Nigerian women between the ages of 15 and 49 were victims of FGM.

Recall that the 7th Senate had on May 5, 2015, passed the bill banning FGM which former President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law in the twilight of his administration.

In her presentation, a Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Lauretta Orji, said that female circumcision constituted an infringement on a woman’s sexual rights and a form of violence against her.

Orji works with the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA).

She said that in Uganda, it is believed that the female clitoris is the remnant of the male pineal shaft which should, therefore, be removed and mostly done with the use of crude and unhealthy methods.

“Those who practice this inhuman act should realise that God created the female clitoris for sexual satisfaction and cutting it would not prevent a promiscuous woman from engaging in the act.

“The perpetrators of FGM should be mindful of a woman’s sexual well-being in marriage; the practice is a form of gender inequality in a male-dominated world.”

Also commenting on male circumcision, the consultant said that medical research had shown that the pineal shaft of an uncircumcised male was a source of infection.

“Researches have shown that males that are not circumcised have 10 to 15 times recurrent cases of urinary tract infection.

“They are also prone to Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) among other sexually transmitted infections,” she said.

Meanwhile, Miss Agatha Ejiofor, a participant, said that the seminar had enhanced her knowledge about FGM, adding that she would help in propagating the inherent dangers of the act.

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