We can only stop circumcising girls, boys, if… ― Circumcision descendants

• Education, empowerment crucial to ending FGM – Oyo gov’s wife

Amid calls for an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), persons involved in circumcision have called on governments to provide them alternative jobs for them to desist from the practice.

Decrying what they called blackmail of their practice, the persons on the platform of National Association of Circumcision Descendants, said it was still the family houses that invite them to circumcise their children.

Speaking at an event to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation, in Ibadan, representative of the circumcision descendants, Adegboye Otunla asked that government must work with them if there is to be an end to FGM.

Otunla said: “We have as many circumcisers as the family houses that we have in Oyo state. Every family has their own person doing circumcision. It is attached to lineages hence it will continue.

“You cannot just ask people to drop what they are doing for their daily living. We are not expecting the government to build castles for us but at least some alternative job should be provided.

“There are some elderly people that are still doing FGM. If you want them to desist, you give them something to encourage them.

“All this blackmail, propaganda will never help them. Go to the root of that thing and let those who can monitor arrest, evangelise be involved.

“This is a local issue and you need local people. When you educate local people and those that are practising it, you know how to discourage them.”

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However, in response to the stance of the circumcision descendants, wife of the Oyo state governor, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde solicited their support, that of communities, government agencies, non-governmental agencies to end FGM.

Importantly, she identified the crucial role of increased education and empowerment of communities to end FGM.

Stressing that no form of FGM was right, Makinde urged people to assume roles of surveillance to report incidences of circumcision to government and security agencies.

Noting the long-lasting effects of FGM on women to include post-traumatic disorder, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, she urged all and sundry to join the state government in raising their voices against FGM.

Delivering her presentation, Oyo State FGM Coordinator, Mrs Bilikis Olawoyin, had also noted the need for increased education for women to desist from engaging in sex in return for money.

She noted that FGM will stop the discrimination of sexes and reduce neonatal and girl-child deaths.

Olawoyin added that an end to FGM will drastically reduce the rate of divorce, broken homes and spread of blood transmitted diseases.

Emphasizing that FGM had no benefits, gender-based officer on FGM, Mrs Akinpelu Funmilayo called for the unity of all stakeholders in terms of speaking loudly against it.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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