The House of Representatives has urged the Minister of Women Affairs and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to organise nationwide sensitisation programmes discouraging the practice of female genital mutilation.

It also resolved to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation with the theme; ‘Accelerating Investment to End FGM.’

“The House is worried that about 20 million girls and women in Nigeria and 20% of Nigerian women aged between 15 to 49 years are reported to have undergone FGM in Nigeria.

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“The House is cognisant that the United Nations Report, published in 2020, reported that Nigeria ranked the third-highest number in cases of female genital mutilation in the world.”

The call followed a motion entitled: ‘Need to Eradicate the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria’ raised during plenary on Thursday by Ganiyu Johnson, member representing Oshodi/Isolo 2 Federal Constituency Lagos.

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Raising the motion, Johnson explained that FGM is an act of violence against women and girls and amounts to a violation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, 2015.

According to him, the motion was designed to create global awareness on the dangers of FGM and drum support for the protection of the physical and mental health of women and girls.

The lawmaker expressed worry that the unwholesome practice portends danger for the health and wellbeing of women and girls, in form of urinary tract infections, infertility, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.

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Speaking further, he explained that genital mutilation comprises of all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. He highlighted that the practice is recognised internationally as a violation of the rights and health of women and girls.

The House without debate adopted the motion through a vote called by the presiding officer of the day, Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase.

In 2003, the United Nations while observing the need to eradicate the practice, declared February 6 annually as an International Day for the Eradication of FGM.



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