UNICEF sets year 2030 target to end female genital mutilation

Consultant for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria, Mrs Aderonke Olutayo has stressed the resolve of the UNICEF to stop Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2030.

Olutayo, who is a consultant for Oyo, Ekiti and Osun states, made this call during a 3-day public declaration against FGM across Osun State.

Noting that incidences of FGM were still rampant in Oyo, Ekiti and Osun states, Olutayo solicited the cooperation of community leaders, parents, traditional birth attendants so as to achieve the set 2023 target.

She noted that the act of female genital mutilation was virtually a violation of rights bemoaning that many females subjected to FGM usually suffered blood loss, convulsion and death.

As part of other measures to stem the trend, Olutayo said a surveillance team would be set up to monitor hospitals, health workers and traditional birth attendants, to ensure total compliance and report to UNICEF.

Speaking, Olutayo said: “The practice of FGM has been found to cause deaths of female children, apart from infringing on their rights. It is wrong to take away the rights of female children as this mutilation is being done when they have no capacity to fight for themselves.

“Our target in UNICEF is to ensure that we must stop the practice before the year 2030, so we need your support. We will leverage on the testimonies of leaders in the affected communities to encourage more communities to come on board in the fight against cutting of the girl child.

“We are not going to leave you to this public declaration, we are going to monitor situations here and ensure that you comply.”

People across Ola-Oluwa Local Government, Ife-Central Local Government, and Ifelodun Local Government Areas of Osun state made the FGM declaration, describing the practice as harmful and sinful to womenfolk.

According to Olutayo, the UNICEF was collaborating with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to adopt and strengthen legal framework prohibiting the practice and equip healthcare workers with requisite skills to facilitate access of girls and women at risk and survivors of FGM to quality services.

The Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Osun State, Mr Olalekan Adejobi, assured of the commitment of the NOA to stamping out FGM, especially in the South-Western states.

He said this is typified with the support that the NOA gave the UNICEF during cultural mapping and geo-referencing FGM prone communities in Osun state.

He noted that the mapping exercise engendered the systematic implementation of community dialogues, training of community champions on the need to totally shun FGM practices.

Adejobi expressed optimism that with the public declaration, communal dwellers had become aware of the legal, social and medical implications of FGM and shun engaging in such practice

He lauded UNICEF’s strides in the fight against traditional practices injuring African society and causing colossal damage to generations of female children.

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