As campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation mount, an advocacy group, Value Female Network (VFN) has called for collaborative efforts between governments at all levels and relevant Non-Governmental Organisations to tackle the unwholesome practice.
VFN made the call during a forum set aside to ‘mark International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on Tuesday in Osogbo, Osun State.
Speaking on a radio programme, Frank Talk, on Rave FM in Os, the Director of Gender Innovation, an arm of the VFN, Mr Samuel Abimbade emphasised the need for governments at all levels to partner with relevant NGOs to ensure a speedy end to the tradition.
Abimbade, an adolescent and sexual reproductive health expert decried the rising rate of FGM in Osun state and urged the government to step up it’s monitoring of traditional birth attendants and circumcision workers to prevent the secret practice.
To achieve this, a Youth Ambassador of IPAS, a global NGO that focuses on female reproductive rights advised the state government to collaborate with VFN and other concerned organisations.
Abimbola tasked the authorities to reach out to endemic communities, sensitise people against FGM and ensure the promoters of the harmful practice are prosecuted.
He also urged Nigerians to end the ‘cutting of girls’, stressing that FGM does not prevent promiscuity as some erroneously believe.
Speaking on AM Cafe, another radio programme on Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, the Coordinator of Value Female Network, Miss Costly Aderibigbe said a recent investigation by the United Nations revealed that over 200 million girls had been mutilated in recent years.
Aderibigbe said, aside from the immediate complications like bleeding, FGM also increases maternal mortality rate, adding that the practice does not benefit anyone and that no religion commands mutilation of girls.
By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo