Osun ranks highest in female genital mutilation – UNFPA

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The United Nations Population Fund on Thursday said that Osun State still recorded highest prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria with over 76.3 per cent.

Damilola Obinna, a Gender Analyst with UNFPA, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that FGM was high in the South West in spite of the geopolitical zone’s high literacy and awareness rate.

Obinna said that the statistics was arrived at after a survey was carried out by UNFPA in collaboration with UNICEF in 2015.

Obinna said: “After data collation and analysis, we discovered that Osun had 76.3 per cent prevalence rate, Ekiti had 71.2, Oyo, 69.7; Ebonyi, 55.6; Imo, 48.8; and Lagos, 44.8.

“There is no single benefit in the practice of female genital mutilation; yet, the practice is high even among the educated.

“Aside from the immediate risks of FGM which includes haemorrhage, infections, and death, survivors of FGM are liable to present later in their lives recurring urinary tract infections, menstrual problems, reproductive tract infections, depression, sexual dysfunction and pain, and chronic genital pain.

“They are also at risk for several adverse complications for both mother and newborn during childbirth.”

Obinna said that in Lagos State, the awareness of FGM was high but statistics showed that four out of 10 girls or women had undergone female genital mutilation.

She said that Lagos Island LGA recorded the highest prevalence with 51.6 per cent while Somolu L.G.A. had the lowest prevalence with 20.9 per cent.

She said: “We discovered that most Lagos indigenes don’t cut their girls but the people who moved into Lagos from Kwara, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ebonyi and some other states, moved in with their culture which includes FGM.

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“These people who still practice FGM claimed that it is a social expectation that most be carried out and that it cannot be stopped.”

Obinna urged state governments to enact laws that would prohibit FGM in their states.

She said that the states could domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015.

She also urged governments to organise regular enlightenment programmes involving traditional, religious and community leaders to drive the message home.

Obinna stated: “These people are role models in the society; people listen and emulate them; so, they must be fully involved in the total eradication of FGM.”

Source: Today.ng 

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