FGM: UNICEF laments people’s inability to accept change




The United Nations Children fund (UNICEF), Desk officer with Ebonyi state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (SMWASD), Mr Emmanuel Nkwuda has attributed practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the state to the inabilities of the people to accept paradigm shift.

Nkwuda disclosed this during a review meeting with Civil Society Organization (CSO) network and selected young people to review the FGM elimination campaign in the state in Abakaliki.

He said that the citizens still indulge in the practice of FGM especially the type four.

He said, “People are yet to accept the paradigm shift, that it is no longer good to do their cultural activities without mutilating our girl child.

“What it means is that we need to step up our interventions by carrying out aggressive campaigns to the community people even among the elite you discover that some people are still doing it.

“Ignorance is another thing, there are a lot of interventions UNICEF has done and as partners, we have done a lot of sensitization, awareness creations in schools but unfortunately, we discovered that this thing is still going on. It appears that people are still ignorant we have to conduct another aggressive campaign to the community people.

“Ebonyi is at 5.2% and Imo is close to Ebonyi that means what is peculiar to Ebonyi is peculiar to Imo. It is high in imo but we want to address the case of Ebonyi. So many traditional rulers has condemned it, 88 communities has publicly declared FGM abandonment yet people are still doing it that was why I said ignorant is another thing, we need to step up sensitize people more”.

Representing the state Commissioner for women Affairs, Mrs Chinwe Okah, the HOD Child development, Mr Godwin Igwe said the meeting would play a useful role in providing the government with needed knowledge, credible and independent information about the status of FGM elimination campaign in Ebonyi.

“The CSO will make recommendations on how to improve End FGM campaign in line with the national policy and plan of action on eliminating FGM in Nigeria.

She also called on CSO’s to revalidate their registration with the ministry for the purpose of receiving their monthly reports”.

One of the participants, Dr Jerry Nweze a clinical specialist noted that practice of FGM type one and four is rampant in the state. He called for more and radical advocacy exercise in the hinter land.

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