Progress on ending Female Genital Mutilation Across FGM prevalent states in southwest Nigeria

Female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread in Nigeria. With an estimated 19.9 million survivors, Nigeria accounts for the third highest number of women and girls who have undergone FGM worldwide.

While the national prevalence of FGM among women in Nigeria aged 15-49 dropped from 25 per cent in 2013 to 20 per cent in 2018, prevalence among girls aged 0-14 increased from 16.9 per cent to 19.2 per cent in the same period, according to NDHS figures.

In ending the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in which Nigeria contributes 10 percent to the practice with 19.9 million, advocacies and interventions at different levels must take place.

Speaking on progress made in ending FGM across FGM prevalent states in south west region, Dr Somefun Esther our guest on the 12 Episode of Let’s Talk FGM advised that other states can emulate successes recorded in the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation in other states.

She said that the high boarding states in Nigeria with the issues of Female genital mutilation have received support from the United Nations population Funds, the state government, Civil societies and non governmental organization to move them from states with high prevalence to states with FGM dropping with over 30% across. Osun state for example has dropped from 78% to over 45% and Ebony from 74% to 53, Ekiti from 72 to 57%, Imo from 68% to 61%, Oyo from 66 to 31.7%. Having this drops, alot was involved. Policies and legal frameworks were put in place to strengthen the right of women, particularly, working with the state to domesticate the violence against person’s prohibition act that was passed in 2015 in the various state. This came with alot of advocacies and engagement with traditional and religious leaders, who were great influencers as custodian and gate keepers of tradition, giving them reasons to abandon the practice of female genital mutilation.

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