By Okoye Chibuzo on 19/06/2017

The People of Izzi Community, Amagu in Izzi Local Government of Ebonyi state have today declared to put a stop to what is termed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or cutting.

FGM according to UNICEF It is any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons.

According to the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS 2013), the FGM/C prevalence rate in Nigeria is 25%.  FGM/C is most prevalent among Yoruba women (55%) and Igbo women (45%). The States with highest prevalence, are Osun (77%), Ebonyi (74%), Ekiti (72%), Imo (68%) and Oyo (66%).

The Main reason reasons for FGM/C were to preserve virginity and prevent extra-marital sex. In addition, women cited ‘social acceptance’ and ‘better marriage prospects’, while Men also cited ‘More sexual pleasure for a man’.  Although FGM is not required by any religious script, overall, 15% of women and 23.6% of men believe it is required by their religion. Overall, 64.3% of women and 62.1% of men believe that FGM should be stopped in Nigeria. The strongest support for ending FGM (76.2%) among women who have not undergone FGM, while 50% support for ending FGM is among those who have undergone the practice.

Nigeria joined the global programme in December 2013 Through a Join Programme by UNICEF and UNFPA with support of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and Federal ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (FMWASD), but the actual implementation commenced in 2014 in Imo, Ebonyi, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Lagos states with a joint Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Situation Assessment.

Ebonyi state according to the National Demographic Health Survey has the second highest prevalence rate.

With the effort of the Joint UNICEF/UNFPA Programme for the abandonment of Female Genital mutilation, the prevalent rate is constantly reducing with Izzi community coming out today to declare an end to the old time cultural practice of mutilating female’s genitalia otherwise known as female circumcision.

The historic event had the Wife of the Ebonyi state Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Rachel Umahi Nweze and all the traditional rulers of Ebonyi state to witness the Public declaration.