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Monday, February 26, 2024

Human rights group urges Nigerian government to eradicate female genital mutilation

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The International Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Nigeria, a network of international human rights advocates, has called for zero tolerance for female genital mutilation (FGM) and measures to eradicate this harmful practice in Nigeria.

This was stated by the head of the organization’s Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria, Chinenye Duru, in a statement commemorating the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Since 2012, February 6 has been set aside as a special day to campaign and rally support to end female genital mutilation around the world.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), female genital mutilation includes any procedure that involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia for non-therapeutic reasons and constitutes a violation of human rights, with profound physical, emotional and psychological consequences. that perpetuate gender inequality and pose important consequences. risks to the health of women and girls.

“As part of affirmative actions to end this devastating and psychological endemic that is as old as society itself, the International Human Rights Commission-IHRC in Nigeria calls for the need to eradicate female genital mutilation in Nigeria and educate the general public at all levels, with emphasis on the dangers and undesirability of female genital mutilation,” Duru said in the statement.

He regretted that female genital mutilation is still common in Nigeria, a country that represents a significant part of cases worldwide, according to the WHO.

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“The consequences of female genital mutilation are devastating and far-reaching. Physically, it can cause severe pain, infections and complications during childbirth, and even death. Emotionally and psychologically, it leaves lasting scars that cause trauma, depression, and a feeling of violation. Additionally, FGM perpetuates gender inequality, reinforces harmful stereotypes, and limits the potential of girls and women,” she explained.

She noted that female genital mutilation persists due to its roots in cultural traditions and superstitions, adding that a comprehensive approach, including awareness-raising, legal reforms, empowerment of women and girls and international cooperation, was necessary to effectively combat genital mutilation. feminine.

She highlighted that community participation, challenging harmful norms and involving religious and community leaders in advocacy against FGM, along with strengthening legal frameworks, providing support services to survivors and promoting of gender equality, are vital components of the approach.

He also noted the need for united action, urging governments, NGOs and civil society to collaborate and share resources to accelerate progress towards ending female genital mutilation.

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Nigeria has a quarter of the estimated 115 to 130 million circumcised women worldwide, according to WHO data.

Mr. Duru explained that a multifaceted approach is essential to combat FGM effectively, including raising awareness through education and advocacy campaigns, strengthening legal frameworks, empowering women and girls, fostering international cooperation and promoting dialogue within communities.

READ ALSO: Nigeria joins the global call for the eradication of female genital mutilation

“Second, legal frameworks need to be strengthened and enforced. Governments should enact comprehensive legislation that explicitly criminalizes female genital mutilation and provides protection to potential victims. “Law enforcement agencies must be trained to effectively identify and respond to cases of female genital mutilation.”

“In addition, support services must be established to provide medical, psychological and legal assistance to survivors.” Similarly, she called for the empowerment of women and girls, “by promoting gender equality, providing access to education and creating economic opportunities, we can challenge the underlying factors that perpetuate female genital mutilation.”

“Finally, international cooperation is essential. Governments, non-governmental organizations and civil society must work together to share best practices, exchange information and provide financial support for initiatives aimed at eradicating female genital mutilation. By joining forces, we can amplify our impact and accelerate progress towards a world free of this threat,” she added.

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