Governor’s wife speaks against Female Genital Mutilation

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

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The Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has urged Parents and Non Governmental Organisations to continue to voice their concerns against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Mrs. Ambode spoke to journalists in Alausa, Ikeja in an event to commemorate this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

She expressed optimism that the act could be stamped out of Africa by 2030, if all individuals, institutions and stakeholders work together towards achieving that purpose.

Mrs. Ambode noted that although the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to ninety per cent prevalence among girls and women, stressing that things could only get better if the current advocacy is sustained.

According to her, “The pace of penetration of awareness seems slow because the practice is an ancient one, deeply rooted in our various cultures but that does not make our efforts fruitless. Though progress may be slow, we are going somewhere as rural women, mothers and young girls, are becoming aware of the severe health implications of the barbaric practice.

“Few years ago, many women, even some educated ones, saw it as a normal and socially acceptable practice but the story is fast changing, as awareness is getting mileage and rural women are now campaigning against it.”

The Governor’s wife however implored governments at all levels to fight the practice with direct legislations, in the manner they react to other anti-female practices.

She emphasised that FGM constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, directly violating their rights to health, security and physical integrity, wondering why women should be subjected to such life-threatening dehumanization.

February 6 every year is set aside by the United Nations, as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation across the world.

Nnenna.O