Intensify Campaign Against FGM, Group Urges Journalists
A Non-Governmental Organization, HACEY Health Initiative, has urged journalists and media practitioners to intensify their campaigns against practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Ekiti State.
The one-day advocacy workshop held with media practitioners on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, was centered against the prevalence and perpetrators of FGM in the state.
Speaking, the convener, Miss Nifemi Ayeni, the Ekiti State coordinator for HACEY Health Initiative appealed to Journalists in the state to join hands with the organization in order to stamp out the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) from the state.
Miss Ayeni further urged participants at the workshop to dig deeper into the activities of the traditional birth attendants that are involved in the act of mutilating the genitals of females in the society.
She lamented that Ekiti State has moved from second position in 2014 to the first position in 2022 among the southwest states prevalent with the activities of FGM.
Ayeni further clarified that the ‘Stop Cut’ project is aimed at reducing the prevalence of FGM by improving law enforcement systems and enhancing public knowledge, awareness via strengthened collaborative efforts championed by critical stakeholders.
Speaking further, Mrs Akinleye Olukemi, from the Ekiti State Ministry of Health and Human Services stated that the objective of the workshop was to enhance the capacity for media personnel, revealing that they are major stakeholders that can help in curbing the menace.
Olukemi, however, urged Ekiti residents to dissuade from perpetrating the act while calling on them to report any suspicious activity to relevant security agencies.
She said, “The objective of this programme is to build capacity of media personnel to campaign against FGM in Ekiti State. We have been sensitizing and creating awareness that they should not practice FGM acts and the wife of the Governor has been doing her best regarding it.
“People are still engaging in FGM because of cultural beliefs and traditions. We want to use this medium to encourage people that FGM is an act that brings many consequences to the girl child and women. We want to encourage residents to speak out whenever they see people perpetrating this act. When this is reported, government will take necessary action against it.”
A legal practitioner, Rita Ilevbare Esq, revealed that there are laws and policies against perpetrators of the act, stating that offenders are likely to be jailed if found guilty by the court of law.
“More importantly, the citizens need to know that there is a law against FGM. The penalty is nothing less than two years imprisonment.
On his part, the representative of HACEY Health Initiative, Bamidele Oyewunmi, admonished members of the public and stakeholders to champion the campaign at community level participate in public discussion, high-level political forums, in order to ensure the continuous sensitization of the evils of FGM on online media platform.
Source: PM Parrot