Imo Communities Partner UNICEF, NOA to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

Imo Communities Partner UNICEF, NOA to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

Amby Uneze in Owerri

As the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) marked the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Day, which is celebrated the world over on February 6 annually, communities in Aboh Mbaise local government area of Imo State have vowed to eliminate the obnoxious practice in their areas.

Speaking to THISDAY, some traditional rulers, presidents general, religious leaders and women leaders in the areas visited chorused spoke against the practice and cautioned their people to stop it once and for all.

The visit to some of the communities afforded THISDAY the opportunity to ascertain the level of compliance with sensitisation and practice against the FGM by the indigenes of the Aboh Mbaise, and it was observed that this negative practice has drastically reduced with almost 95 per cent compliance. 

This year’s theme, “Her Voice,

Her Future” as highlighted by UNICEF was the message the stakeholders felt there was needed to draw the attention of the people to give girls and women the voice to shape their future, noting that healthy women produces healthy society.

In his remark, the Chairman of Aboh Mbaise Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Marcellenus Waturuocha, advised mothers and future parents to desist from practicing female genital mutilation (circumcision) of their female babies as such act is not only dangerous and harmful to their health but is capable of affecting their marriages in future.

The traditional ruler disclosed that a resolution had been adopted to report culprits to the state government and other relevant agencies for appropriate sanction. He stressed that mechanism had been put in place to fish out the community members engaging in this ugly practice.

The monarch also vowed to bring to the notice of the authorities any person caught practicing FGM as such is a criminal offense liability with some penalties.

A community leader in the area, Chief Ugo Nwachukwu reminded the people of the benefits enjoyed by female that did not pass through the process of having their genitalia mutilated or tempered with as such women do enjoy their marital union as well as having problem-free delivery of their babies.

In the same vein, a Catholic clergy promised to draw the message to the ears of the congregants during Sunday masses, adding that with modern technology in place, there is no more place for the practice of such mundane and illegal act in the present society.

The priest disclosed that a surveillance team had been established in each community, to watch out for members of his congregation that indulgences in such negative act, as they will not tolerate a situation where individuals engage in practices that has been abolished within the communities.

A woman leader, Mrs. Carolina Amadi expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance in the communities, ascribing the success to the efforts of the UNICEF and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the media who have been creating awareness the people.

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