A Non-governmental Organization, HACEY on Thursday, April 7, 2022 along with all stakeholders held a workshop tagged, Capacity Building Workshop for Stakeholders on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Policies and Laws at the Osun State Ministry of Health Conference Hall.
The Workshop was centered on creating awareness, publicity, policies and laws guiding female Mutilation and the risks involved.
Although there was a law in place against Female Genital Mutilation but the publicity and awareness has been an impediment to full awareness, implementation and penalties against the offenders.
According to the first Speaker who delivered a seminar on Policies and Laws against Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision, Barrister Kayode Titiloye, he shed light on why the Press should create awareness, why the law would penalise offenders and why FGM is a crime.
Barr. Titiloye said, “Anyone that causes injury to another is liable to seven years imprisonment but there is a ceveat when the life of girl child is in danger with a Certification. He went further that, There are laws enacted in Osun, Oyo and Ekiti states against Female Genital Mutilation supported by Federal Law, “The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition Act, (VAPP Act) signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan on the 25th May, 2015.
The law states that,
“Attempting to perform Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or engaging another to perform FGM carries a punishment of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding N100,000 or both. It also stipulates a fine of N200,000 or up to 4 years imprisonment for performing or engaging another to perform FMG/V.” (Uchenunu-Ibeh, 2019).
The second Speaker, The State SRH and FGM Desk Officer, Mrs Toyin Adelowokan delved into “Understanding Female Genital Mutilation”, the risks involved and breaking the culture of silence to reduce incidents of deaths from Mutilation and circumcision of females.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), FGM is defined as, “All procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female Genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therepeutic reasons.”
According to the Speaker, there are four types of Female Genital Mutilation:
1) Clitoridectomy: Partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals).
2) Excision; Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (labia are ‘the lips’ that surrounds the vigina).
3) Infibulation: Narrowing of the vagina opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
4) Unclassified: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, pulling, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.
She itemised risks involved in mutilation to include, Excessive bleeding, pains, shock, genital tissue swelling, wound healing problems, untimely deaths. The long term risks of female genital mutilation are, “Genital tissue damage, Vagina discharge, Vagina itching, menstrual problems, reproductive tract infections, chronic genital infections, painful urination.”
All stakeholders including the press, men and women are enjoined to share this publication, create awareness and spread the risk involved in female mutilation to prevent avoidable risks and unnecessary deaths involved and report violators to the law enforcement agents.
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