FGM: NGO highlights role of media in ending menace
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Hacey Health Initiative, has called on media practitioners to use their various platforms to campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The NGO which is into the ‘Stop Cut’ project, identified the media as a vital partner in the fight against this menace, urging practitioners to keep informing and educating members of the public on the dangers of practising FGM.
The NGO made this known during a one-day Capacity Building Workshop for Stakeholders On Female Genital Mutilation, Policies and Laws in collaboration with the Ekiti State Ministry of Health and Humanitarian Services, held Tuesday, in Ado Ekiti.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from the prints and electronic and online media in the state.
One of the speakers at the workshop, Mrs Olukemi Akinleye, from the Ekiti State Ministry Of Health and Humanitarian Services, explained that FGM is an age-long practise that has continued to thrive because of traditional and cultural beliefs.
‘In Ekiti State so far, we have been able to sensitize the people, creating awareness that they shouldn’t practise FGM, and the wife of the governor has been doing a lot of activities in this regard.
‘People do this because of the cultural and traditional beliefs. But we want to use this medium to encourage people that FGM is an act that brings a lot of consequences to the life of a girl-child or a woman. And at the same time, we want people to understand that there is a law that has been in the state since 2002 which was inculcated into the gender-based violence law 2019.’Premature Ejaculation & “Small Joystick” Resolved in 7Days… Click Here For Details .
Akinleye said people should be aware that FGM is a practice that should not be embraced so that people will not say they are complying because of law, urging everyone in the society to speak out whenever they see anybody perpetrating the act.
The health officials noted that the practice is rampant in the various communities, especially areas she referred to as the grassroots, adding that it is incumbent on the locals to report that such acts are being practised. This she maintained will enable the government to take necessary action.100% Natural Herbs to Finally End Premature Ejaculation, Weak Erection and Small Manhood. >>>Click Here for Details<<< .
She noted that the campaign against FGM is still very high in Ekiti State through jingles on radio, television, enlightenment programmes and other means of mass communication where adverse effects of FGM are disseminated, but pointed out that people are very difficult to change.
‘FGM does more harm than good to the life of a girl-child and woman. The FGM causes health complications, such as long time complications, short time complications and psychological complications. There is a law, but people don’t want us to know those people practising, and they believe they can do it the way they like. That’s why the incident is still high in Ekiti State.’
Also speaking, the Coordinator, Sexual Referral Center, Moremi Clinic, Ado Ekiti, Barrister Rita Ilevbare, explained that the programme was in recognition of the critical role that the media practitioners can play as regards FGM/C and Gender-Based Violence, GBV, in particular, noting that information is key and if people don’t know what FGM or GBV is all about, they are lost.
‘We also know that in law, there is ignorance of the law. We also know that we really need people to understand, for them to know that there is the law. The way this law works and we really need to partner with media practitioners to take the message out there. As I said in my presentation, the essence of the law is not for the law to fold its hand and allow this gender-based violence to take place. No, the essence of the law is programmed towards prevention. And information is very key. So, we are training media practitioners.’
Ilevbare, who is also the Executive Director, Gender Relevance Initiative Promotion, an Ekiti-based NGO for promoting women and children’s rights, reiterated that Hacey Health Initiative in collaboration with Ekiti State Ministry of Health and Humanitarian Services is training key stakeholders, and the media is very paramount to help send this message forward with a view to ensuring that people understand what FGM is all about, the implications, the consequences, the harm it can do to individuals and communities. And more importantly, for the citizens to know that there is a law that has a punitive effect on gender-based violence, especially in FGM, ‘the penalties that are there, nothing less than two years imprisonment, and nothing less than N200,000 fine. FGM encompass so many offences.’
Responding to how effective the laws are, Ilevbare said: ‘There is no law that’s not effective, but it depends on how we use the law. The government has put the law in place, the government has set up the structure as we all know that we have the gender-based prohibition law. We have a very proactive Ministry of Justice that prosecutes efficiently. The government is also supporting the police in terms of equipment, in terms of training. Ekiti State also has FGM Steering Committee at the state and local government levels. So it is left for us citizens to do our own part.’
She enjoined members of the public and other stakeholders to report issues of FGM to the police station, the Civil Defence office, gender units across the sixteen local government areas of Ekiti State, the office of the public defender, the office of the wife of the governor, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Health, among others.
Programme Officer, Hacey Health Initiative, Mr Bamidele Oyewumi, appealed to journalists to apply their investigative journalism in unravelling the perpetrators of FGM and allied condemnable unwholesome health practices in Ekiti State and the society at large
Source: The sun Newspaper