By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Tuesday urged mothers, fathers and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to continue to voice their concerns, while governments at all levels put in place the right statutes for total eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria and in Africa by 2030.
Mrs. Ambode spoke to journalists in Alausa, Ikeja in an event to commemorate this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
She expressed optimism that Female Genital Mutilation could be stamped out of Africa by 2030, if all individuals and institutions and stakeholders work together towards achieving that purpose.
Mrs. Ambode said that although the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to ninety per cent prevalence among girls and women, the situation was not hopeless if the current advocacy was sustained or increased.
According to her, “The pace of penetration of awareness seems slow because the practice is an ancient one, deeply rooted in our various cultures but that does not make our efforts fruitless. Though progress may be slow, we are going somewhere as rural women, mothers and young girls, are becoming aware of the severe health implications of the barbaric practice.
“Few years ago, many women, even some educated ones, saw it as a normal and socially acceptable practice but the story is fast changing, as awareness is getting mileage and rural women are now campaigning against it.”
The Governor’s wife implored governments at all levels to fight the practice with direct legislations, in the manner they are doing with some wicked anti-female practices.
She emphasised that FGM constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, directly violating their rights to health, security and physical integrity, wondering why women should be subjected to such life-threatening dehumanization.
February 6 every year, is set aside by the United Nations, as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation across the world.