Health

Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation’ll check divorce rate – Stakeholders

Relevant agencies have posited that elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a prerequisite that can be used to combat alarming rate of divorce in the society.
The stakeholders, who lamented the act it described as obsolete, said the practice apart from other hazard aggravates divorce rates among couples in the society.
They added that FGM when carried out causes excessive bleeding infection and aggression which they said are not in tandem to a happy home.
In order to combat the situation in Ekiti, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) called for support of the state government on the prosecution of people still involving in the FGM.
The head of UNICEF for Ekiti, Osun, Oyo states, Mrs Aderonke Olutayo, who condemned the continuous practise of the act in the state, noted that the international organisation would collaborate with the government in the arrest and prosecution of the practitioners.
She spoke in Ado-Ekiti Thursday at a programme organised in conjuction with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) towards the elimination of FGM in communities and the state capital.
At the event, about 24 practitioners from Ijigbo, Odo-Ado, Irasa communities of Ado-Ekiti metropolis publicly denounced the operation of Female Genital Mutilation.
According to her: “FGM prevalence rate for women aged 0-14 years, and 15-49 years in Ekiti State is 47.9% (NDHS ,2018) the second highest in Nigeria which is well above the National prevalence rate of 20.0%. This means that five out of every 10 women in Ekiti State are affected living with the negative consequences of the practice, which undermines their physical, emotional and socio-economic wellbeing.
“We have been moving around talking to stakeholders including religious leaders on the need for our people to stop FGM in the society.
“More success have been recorded but we need more and we are calling on government to ensure people are arrested and prosecuted because there is law in Ekiti. By next year, we will begin aggressive efforts in this regard and we only need one person to go to jail for others to run from it.”
On his part, the state Director of NOA, Mr Bankola Fadahunsi said the agency would continue its advocacy across communities in the state on the need for people to shun FGM.
The Ekiti state Director of Law review, Mr Adegboyega Morakinyo said the government was committed into ending the practice with the law stipulated to fight against the crude act perpetrated on the girl child.
He declared that whoever is arrested risks one year jail term with the payment of a N200,000 fine.

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