Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

309 Nigerian communities abandon FGM -UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said over 309 communities in Nigeria have publicly declared their abandonment of female genital mutilation, FGM, in 2018.

Country Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Fall, made the disclosure to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, marked annually every February 6.

Fall noted that the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, (MICS) showed some decline in the incidence of FGM in the country.

He said that based on the survey 18.4 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 years now undergo FGM as against 27 per cent in 2011.

According to Fall, "UNICEF and partners’ interventions to ensure the elimination of FGM by 2030 has resulted in a break in the barrier against discussing FGM publicly.

"Religious leaders, community stakeholders and young people now speak out against this practice.

"Subsequently, last year, more than 309 communities publicly declared abandonment of the practice. Despite this decline, millions of girls and women are still faced with the scourge of genital mutilation every year in Nigeria.

"There is, therefore, an urgent need for decision-makers and political leaders to take concrete action towards ending the harmful practice of FGM in Nigeria," Fall stated.

He identified FGM as a violation of women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from cruel or degrading treatm

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