By Olayinka Olawale
Lagos – The Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, has urged government at all levels to formulate the right policy for the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria by 2030.
Ambode made the call at a programme to commemorate this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM at Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday.
The wife of the governor also urged parents and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) to continue to advocate for the total eradication of FGM.
She expressed optimism that FGM could be stamped out of Africa by 2030 if relevant institutions and stakeholders work together toward achieving that goal.
The governor’s wife said that FGM constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, directly violating their rights to health, security and physical integrity.
She wondered why women should be subjected to such life-threatening dehumanisation.
According to her, the pace of penetration of awareness seems slow because the practice is an ancient one that is deeply rooted in our various cultures.
“But that does not make our efforts fruitless.
“Though progress may be slow, we are going somewhere as rural women, mothers and young girls are becoming aware of the severe health implications of the barbaric practice.
“A Few years ago, many women, even some educated ones, saw it as a normal and socially acceptable practice.
“But the story is fast changing as awareness is getting mileage and rural women are now campaigning against it,’’ she said.
Ambode expressed concern that the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to 90 per cent prevalence rate among girls and women.
She, however, said the situation was not hopeless if the present advocacy was sustained or increased.
Ambode advised governments at all levels to fight the practice with direct legislation in the manner they were doing with some other barbaric anti-female practices.
NAN reports that Feb. 6 every year has been set aside by the United Nations to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM across the world. (NAN)