By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Worried by the spate of female genital mutilation in Ekiti State, a non-governmental organization, Side by Side Movement For Gender Justice has called on stakeholders to join hands with government in stamping out the menace in the society.
The group in collaboration with African Centre for Leadership and strategy and development and the Christain aide at the weekend premier a movie, called royal decree and panel discussion in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital as part of ways to create awareness on the dangers in the practice of FGM.
While the National Coordinator of ‘Side by Side’ Mr. Vincent Dania stressed the need for the state government to intensify efforts at enforcing the law, adding this remained the only effective and efficient way of discouraging people from indulging in the act.
He said,”Our objective is that the movie will inspire stakeholders in the state to take action in their respective communities and groups at ending FGM. From the reports we have, FGM is endemic in Ekiti and we must take action by advocating for it to end.
“There is law in the state but there is need for the enforcement of the law so that people will see the danger in it and abandon the obsolete practice of cutting
He stated that the group would soon commence advocacy visit to traditional and religious leaders in communities across the 16 local government areas of the state.
Meanwhile,a lawyer and head of the state sexual referral centre, Rita Ilevbare said scientists have proven that there were no benefits in the continuous cutting of female organs,urging the people to stop the practise.
She recalled that the wife of the governor, Bisi Fayemi had introduced series of interventions where some practitioners dropped their tools and were financially empowered for them to focus on other businesses instead of the FGM act.
“Culture is not a reason for the continuous practice of FGM in our state. Also, scientists have said that there is no benefit in the act, it has no scientific backing.People say it help our girls from being promiscuous but I can tell you that Ekiti has prevalent of teenage pregnancy and FGM, this act has not achieve anything, “She stated.
She explained that section seven of the Ekiti state gender-based violence (prohibition), law 2019 clearly prohibited the circumcision or genital mutilation, assuring that the government would continue its efforts at eradicating the practice in the state.