Founder and President of Wellbeing Foundation, Mrs Toyin Saraki has called on the international community, governments at various levels and civil society to help curb and end the cultural practice of female genital mutilation.
She made this known during a programme to mark this year’s day against the genital mutilation. Recall that the practice was banned in Nigeria in 2015 which then criminalised the practice.
She said, “Last year I participated in the United Nations Population Fund’s Zero Tolerance Conference in Nigeria that called for collective action to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation by 2030. FGM is a dangerous, harmful and unnecessary cultural practice, a physical assault that causes grievous bodily harm, thus it is the responsibility of the international community, domestic governments and civil society to work together in fighting to protect girls of the future from such inhumane practice. The UN estimates that if current trends continue, 15 million more girls between 15 and 19 will be cut within the next 14 years. It is our job as international citizens to prevent this from happening.
“FGM was criminalised in Nigeria in 2015, signifying a historic step towards outlawing the practice globally. However, FGM remains legal in Mali, Sudan and Liberia, among others, and continues to be practiced in other countries despite it being outlawed.”
Following the litigation against the genital mutilation, she stressed that there was need for the people to understand the risks of practicing it so as to end the activity. She also stated that the people needs to change their mentality towards it as that can help bring an end to the practice.
She concluded that, “Huge progress has been made internationally to overcome FGM, with a succession of governments criminalising the practice in recent years. This is an achievement that should be lauded. However, there is still much to do. Through a combined effort from governments, international organisations and individual people, the girls of the future can and will be protected.”