-Gender justice: NGO canvasses banning female genital mutilation
YBTC NEWS-The Side by Side Movement Nigeria, an NGO, on Wednesday in Abuja called for banning Female Genital Mutilation,FGM, in Nigeria for gender justice.
Dr Israel Akanji, Co-Chair of the movement, made the call when he addressed newsmen on commemoration of the International day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation in Nigeria.
According to him, the FGM is a practice having no health benefits to the victim, but with well-documented evidences of harms.
Akanji said FGM comprised all procedures that involved partial or all of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical purposes.
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“The practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers who often play other central roles in communities like attending childbirths. Health care providers perform FGM due to erroneous belief that procedure is safer when medicalised.
“The World Health Organization,WHO,strongly urges health professionals not to perform such procedures. FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women,“ he said.
“Research had shown that women that underwent FGM were scientifically more likely to have complication during cesarean section and childbirth,“ he said.
He said immediate complications of FGM included hemorrhage, acute infection, bleeding of adjacent organs, violent pain resulting in serious shock.
Akanji said the later complications of FGM comprised vicious scares, chronic infection, hematic complications and obstetric complication.
He said FGM reflected inequality between the sexes and constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women.
According to him, FGM violates a person’s right to health, security and physical integrity, right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and right to life when the procedure resulted in death.
“The following are supporting facts that prove female genital mutilation to be unhealthy and practising communities should be made to stop FMG with immediate effect.
“ The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women but causes bleeding and problems during urinating, which later could result in cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth.
“It increased risk of newborn deaths. More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been mutilated in about 30 countries in Africa.
“The Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated, FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15, “ he said.
Prof. Mustapha Ismail, Co-chair of the movement, called on religions leaders to be active towards war against FMG in Nigeria.
“ The Side by Side Moment is strongly against gender injustice in Nigeria and we urge all religious and traditional leaders to make deliberate efforts to stop gender injustice in Nigeria, including FGM, “he said.
He said the approach was to stand firmly on fighting for gender equality and transforming discriminatory and unequal power relationships.
According to him, the approach can be used to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.
“Equality therefore imposes on us the obligation to values every human being equally and every person to have access to power, Knowledge and resources.
“It is on this note that the Nigeria chapter of the Side by Side Movement is making the international day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation,” he said. (NAN)
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