Advocates against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) have called on the three tiers of government to promote enforcement of laws and policies that protect women and girls against old customs.
They made the call at a two-day ENDFGM Boot Camp workshop in Oyo Town, Oyo State, on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised by a non-governmental organisation, Hacey Health Initiatives, under its “Stop Cut Project.”
NAN reports that the workshop drew participants from Osun, Ekiti and Oyo States.
It also reports that FGM involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
In his remarks, Olayinka Akanle, a lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, said that inadequate enforcement of laws against FGM had continued to hinder eradication of the custom in the communities.
Mr Akanle said that 13 states in the country had passed a law against FGM, noting that lack of implementation was the major issue in those states.
He said that judiciary and the law enforcement agencies should be well informed of the laws in those states where it had been signed.
Mr Akanle, while describing FGM as an oppression of girls and women, said there was no medical reason for the practice.
He called on other states that have yet to sign the anti-FGM law to do so and ensure its implementation.
Also, Erica Goldson, Deputy Representative at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said there had not been successful prosecution of people who engages in FGM.
Ms Goldson, while addressing the participants via skype, said access to justice for the survival of FGM was one of the objectives of UNFPA.
She described FGM as a violation of women and girls’ fundamental right without any health benefit.
Ms Goldson said UNFPA would continue to partner with stakeholders in creating awareness on the negative impact of FGM on girls and women.
In her remarks, Rhoda Robinson, the executive secretary of Hacey Health Initiative, said the “StopCut” project was an intervention designed by the organisation with funding from UNFPA to end violence against women.
Ms Robinson said the project was also aimed at strengthening capacities, conduct effective campaign and enhance the system to promote the endorsement of laws and policies that protect women and girls from FGM.