By Daniel Ayantoye and Mike Adeyemi
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Women and Youth Development Initiative (WOYODEV), has said that over 90 per cent of homes in Kwara State carry out female genital mutilation otherwise known as circumcision.
Speaking with this medium, yesterday, the Executive Director of the organisation, Mrs Tosin Ajayi said the figure was derived from investigation and series of interviews carried out by the NGO in the state.
According to Ajayi, the only solution to problem confronting the girl-child is by putting an end to circumcision.
On the widespread believe that a circumcised woman is promiscuous, she said “there are so many women out there that are not circumcised and are more promiscuous than you can ever imagine, they still have flair for men, it all depends on the mind and the upbringing.”
Similarly, Mrs Mariam Yusuf who represented the Kwara State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Ayinke Saka called for concerted efforts from individuals and other NGOs in the fight against female genital mutilation.
“We are calling on all NGOs to join in the campaign against female circumcision because the act portends various degrees of health challenges for the girl-child. It could lead to cervical cancer and other deadly ailment,” she stated.
In her remarks, the keynote speaker, Mrs. Taiwo Oredola said large percentage of girls and women between the age of 15 and 49 have undergone female genital mutilation in Nigeria, adding that the process involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for nonmedical reasons.
In the same vein, Dr (Mrs.) Zainab Balogun who spoke on the topic, ‘The need to end Female Genital Mutilation’ stated that the act is a criminal offence as provided by the nation’s constitution.
Balogun, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Bazarab Educational Foundation said, “Circumcision or mutilation of the girl-child or woman is hereby prohibited. Any person who performs female circumcision or female genital mutilation or engages in carrying out such commits an offence and liable upon conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 4 years or a fine not exceeding N200,000 or both.
“Since female genital mutilation has no verifiable health benefit, ending it will help stop a form of sexual violence against future generation of girls and women as well as protect their human rights, she posited.