As part of Hacey Initiatives effort to curb Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in states in the southern part of Nigeria, 1920 families, 65 traditional rulers and 55 policy makers have signed the FGM pledge in three southwest states of Oyo, Osun and Ekiti while over 150,000 community members have been sensitised in over 370 advocacy visits.
This was revealed by Hacey Initiative during a media dialogue organises by Hacey Imitiative under its Stop Cut project in Ibadan to sensitise journalists on media role in protecting women and girls feom the hazardous act of FGM.
Hacey Health Initiative engaged journalists and other community stakeholders as well as civil society organisations in a day training session on ways to educate the masses on dangers associated with the cutting of female genitals.
Addressing the participants on the theme of the Stop Cut Project, the monitoring and evaluation officer of Hacey Health Initiative, Mr Emmanuel oni stressed that no fewer than 200 million women and girls have been victims of FGM globally.
“Every year up to three million girls are at the risk of being mutilated globally, in Nigeria the prevalence of FGM/s is estimated at 15.1% among women is 8.2% in girls,” he said.
He added that “FGM is a criminal offence, hence there is a need for us to engage the media so they can help in spreading the message to the people in order to stop the cut because its liable to both jail term and fine. The practice of FGM poses threat to the survival, development and productivity of women and girls.
“Treatment of complications cost 1.4 Billion USD per year globally and is projected to rise to 2.3 Billion USD by the year 2047 if no action is taken,” Oni said.
While speaking on the objective of the stop-cut project, Oni said there is need for public knowledge about FGM and the need for its abandonment.
“Providing education on laws and policies that protect women and girls from FGM advocacy for effective implementation of FGM laws and policies at all levels,” Oni said.
In their separate remarks, Police Officer in charge of FGM, OC Funke Ayenigbara, Barrister Debora Collins, of Oyo state ministry of justice, Dr Ayo Alaga representative of Iyalode and the market women society in the state, Mrs Balikis Olawoyin Oyo state Female Genital Mutilation Coordinator, NSCDC officer in charge of rape and FGM related cases, Mr. Afe Olurotimi called on media practitioners to take End FGM messages to the nooks and crannies of both urban and the rural areas.
They expresses optimism that proper education on FGM will curb the menace.
Also in attendance at the “Stop cut Media Dialogue and Press Conference” are representatives of the market women, representatives of religious organisations, medical experts, top government officials, Oyo NAWOJ representatives, and FIDA, among others.
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