Stakeholders Charged to Eradicate Female Genital Mutilation in Osun

Civil society organisations, Non-governmental organisations, government workers and media practitioners in Osun State have been charged to advocate for the eradication of female genital mutilation (FGM) and cutting, in the state. 

Circumcision of girls became illegal and punishable under Section 335, the Criminal Code of Osun State which stated that any person who is guilty of the felony is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

In furtherance of the campaign to end FGM, the Hacey Health Initiative (HHI) organised a three-day of “Capacity Building Workshop For Stakeholders On Female Genital Mutilation, Policies, And Laws” in Osogbo, Osun State’s capital.

Speaking over the weekend at the workshop, Director of Legal Drafting, Ministry of Justice, Osun State, Mr. Kayode Titiloye, said that female genital mutilation or cutting is grievous bodily harm to the private part of the victim that is against the consent of the victim.

Titiloye further said that the Osun State law for the Prohibition of female genital mutilation made it a crime to submit self for female genital mutilation in the state. 

He called for the amendment of the law of Osun State to compel the health workers, public officials, traditional rulers, and religious leaders that discovered the mutilation of a child or a woman to report it officially.

“The Osun law for the prohibition of female genital mutilation makes it a crime to submit yourself for female genital mutilation or cutting and anybody who perpetuates such on a minor commits also an offense under the law.

“The justice sector is ready. But the enforcement is the challenge we have with the law because of a cultural orientation of not reporting our neighbors or community orientation of not indicting our neighbors especially when the perpetrator of FGM are either grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, uncles, aunties, somebody, the family or the community,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Representative of the Hacey Health Initiative, Mr. Ayo Alabi, disclosed that the workshop was organised to build the capacity to eradicate the practice of female genital mutilation. 

Alabi stressed that the organisers are trying to build a collaborative effort with government officials, NGOs, Civil Societies Organisations, and media practitioners to ensure that stakeholders reduce the prevalence of FGM.

He commended the residents of the state for their support to eradicate the practice, which has been drastically reduced across the state.

“We have trained over a thousand persons from the political offices, the local government chairmen, the counselors or the political office holders in the rural areas, and the community leaders and the market women.

 One of the participants from the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Affairs, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Oyetola, described the workshop as an enlightenment programme on the negative effects of FGM on women.

Source: thisdaynewspaper

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