Stakeholders in campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) have described it as a harmful practice and violation to the dignity of girls and women.
The stakeholders who made the remarks at a two-day “ENDFGM” stakeholders workshop in Oyo town, Oyo State on Monday said that FGM had no health benefits to the society.
Supreme reports that the workshop organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Hacey Health Initiative under its “Stop Cut Project”, drew stakeholders from Osun, Ekiti and Oyo States.
One of the panelists, Alhaja Fausat Sanni, Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs, said FGM denies girls and women right to dignity and life.
Sanni, represented by Olafunmilayo Akinpelu, an official from the ministry explained that the rights of FGM survivors had been tampered with.
“All stakeholders must come together to eradicate FGM in our communities because it is harmful to the health of girls and women in the society.
“FGM is a violation of rights and dignity of girls and women. We must stop it because it does no good,’’ she said.
Another panelist, Mrs Dupe Awosemusi, the Coordinator of Oyo State Sexual and Gender-based Violence Response Team, said government had put a legal frame work in place to stop the act.
Awosemusi, who described FGM as barbaric said the custom was an illegal act and punishable under the law.
She said all hands must be on deck to put an end to it, adding that there was the need for more enlightenment at the grassroots against the act.
Mrs Dolapo Dosumu, the Oyo State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), also described FGM as `barbaric and wicked’.
Dosumu, who noted that the health damage of FGM in girls and women could not be reversed, said the practice must be stopped in the society.
She said the popular belief by parents that FGM would not allow their girl-child to be promiscuous was not genuine.
Also, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, urged the general public to always report anyone caught in the act to the police.
Onadeko, represented by one of her officers, Mr Kunle Kazeem, urged FGM victims not to be shy to report any act of violation of their rights to the police.
Also speaking, Dr Bashir Bello, Oyo State Commissioner for Health, represented by Dr Muftar Adebisis, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the state government was collaborating with other stakeholders to put an end to the practice.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Rhoda Robinson, the Executive Director of Hacey Health Initiative, said the workshop was put together to find means of putting an end to FGM in the country.
According Robinson, more than 200 million girls and women alive today had undergone FGM in countries where the practice is prevalent.
She said the myths that FGM would ensure that the victim is fruitful in her marriage and grow up to be a virtuous woman should be discouraged.
“Over the decades, the global community has increased its voice in condemning FGM in our societies.
“We believe that through our collective renewed commitments and strengthening of our collaborative efforts, we can exponentially increase our impact in ending FGM,’’ Robinson said.