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RE: CHIMAMANDA - Female Genital Mutilation In Nigeria - Nigeria Ranks At The Top - Health - Nairaland

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RE: CHIMAMANDA - Female Genital Mutilation In Nigeria - Nigeria Ranks At The Top by three: 6:04pm On Jun 16, 2018
I was shocked to read comments on the Chimamanda thread that Female Genital Mutilation is low in Nigeria!

Why are we like this?!!

Do you know Nigeria is one of the top countries in the world with wide prevalence of FGM?!

Do yo know that as at 2012 Nigeria was number one in terms of cases of FGM WORLDWIDE?!!!


The government had to ban it and even at that it still is prevalent!


Female genital mutilation still a big threat to Nigerian girl-child survival, development

Though it appears Africa is winning the war over diseases that are posing great threats to the survival, development, protection and participation of the child, as obtainable in other climes, female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) still poses a huge challenge.

Recent happenings in the country show that the African child, especially the girl-child, is still subjected to some out-dated practices and traditions that threaten their right to development, protection and ultimately survival.

This is an unbridled contravention of the international Child Rights Act adopted by Nigeria in 2003 to domesticate the convention on the Rights of the child. Despite the fact that some states have passed it into law, it is still a daunting task fighting FGM/C in the Southwest.

In February 2016, the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, launched a national campaign to end FGM/C, imploring all parties to work together to halt the harmful practice. Though government intervention underlines the need for collective action, very little is done in this regard.

National statistics reveal that 27 per cent of Nigerian women between the ages of 15 and 49 are victims of FGM/C. And though the prevalence has decreased in some parts of the country in the last 30 years, not in Ondo and Oyo States.

The issue was, however, once more brought to public consciousness, when last December, a middle-aged woman and mother of two, Mrs. Oluwakemisola Falade, passionately cried out for help.

Falade, who lives in Ifira, Akoko South East council of Ondo State, was threatened with banishment by community youths and leaders for her refusal to allow a forcible circumcision of her two daughters.

The disagreement with family elders, she recounted, started when her first daughter, who was born in 2008 clocked four and relatives reminded her of the cultural practice, which must be undertaken between the ages of six months and 10 years.

She was summoned to a meeting by family elders in September last year and instructed to prepare her daughters for the custom by December.

“Much as we tried to educate and convince the elders and youths, our explanations fell on deaf ears, as they refused our request for our daughters to be exempted from the cultural practice,” she recalled.

The Akoko community, despite international outcries against the cultural practice, threatened to attack and banish them, subjecting the victims to serial abuses and dehumanisation.

Out of despair, the couple had no option than to concede to the community’s demands, though they knew it was an abuse of their daughters, womanhood and humanity at large.

The parents of the five- and nine-year-old girls yielded to communal pressure last month because the appeal to the state government, Ministry of Women Affairs, CSOs and other humanitarians to come to their rescue was not heeded.

Scholars and activists have insisted that a cultural shift is needed to abolish the scourge, premising their advocacy on data from 2004 to 2015 for women aged 15 to 49 years with 64 per cent zero tolerance.

Similarly, in Lagelu Local Government Area of Oyo State that same year, one Mr. Isaac Oluwatope Oluwabamishe and his wife had a harrowing experience with their extended family, who vowed to wipe off the entire family through diabolical means for not circumcising their daughter.

Oluwabamishe, the father of Joanna, who lived at Road 2, House 7, Liberty Estate, Olorunda Aba Road, Akobo, narrated his ordeal to The Guardian in April 2017, when the incident assumed a dangerous dimension.

According to him, the family reminded him of the custom of circumcision, when Joanna was born in November 2015. Oluwabamishe, who was a banker with a new generation bank, said the custom stipulates that every girl-child must be circumcised between ages of three months and two years.

He explained that every attempt and persuasion employed at dissuading the family members from the archaic practice met with stiff resistance. He was summoned to a council of elders’ meeting in January 2017 for the purpose.

Showing our correspondent the life-threatening letter written to warn him for the fifth time on April 17, 2017 by the head of the family, Mr. Olisa Olotu, he said they admonished him to align with the tradition or face grievous consequences like a kinsman who disobeyed some 49 years ago.

The letter read: “I am using this medium to warn you about your refusal to circumcise your daughter. This is the fifth time we are warning you on this issue. I believe you know our family tradition, as laid down by our ancestors; and we are telling you emphatically that no civilization can change our tradition.

“Your forebears who defied the tradition of our fathers paid dearly with their children, who came down with terrible ailments. This is why I am imploring you to change your stance on this issue and submit your daughter for circumcision due to the love I have for you. And this must be done immediately before your daughter clocks two years.

“If you refuse to heed our demand before your first daughter clocks two years in November, 2017, we will initiate the family rituals and invoke the spirit of our ancestors against you, your wife and daughter; and you know the repercussions.

“You can confirm this from your brother, Damilola, who lost his wife and daughter before he ran away from home because he refused to obey the family tradition like you are doing now. This is the candid warning of the entire family to you.”

Leading the battle against FGM/C in Nigeria, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), condemned people’s conservative attitude in propagating the menace, urging collective efforts to end it in the country.

The UNICEF Communication Officer, Lagos, Mrs. Blessing Ejiofor, in the build-up to mark the 2017 International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM/C, explained that it comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female Instruments, or other cutting of or injury to the female genital organs.

Saying there is a zero tolerance against it globally, as it is harmful to girls and women, she described FGM/C as a violation of human rights causing infertility, maternal death, infections and loss of sexual pleasure.

The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Mohamed Fall, said: “Every study and every bit of evidence we have shows there is absolutely no benefit in mutilating or cutting any girl or woman for non-medical reasons. It is a practice that can cause severe physical and psychological harm.

“It violates a woman’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and even in some cases, the right to life.”

According to UNICEF, five states in Nigeria have high rates of FGM/C that are more than 60 per cent, with Osun and Ebonyi leading at 77 and 74 per cent respectively, according to the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey.

Fall added that the other states are Ekiti, 72 per cent; Imo, 68 per cent and Oyo, 66 per cent. He explained that UNICEF is partnering other stakeholders to stop the menace.

“Support is growing for the national campaign to end FGM/C. With the support of state governors’ wives, Imo and Oyo State Houses of Assembly are currently working on draft bills that will prohibit the practice of FGM/C and any custom or tradition promoting it,” he said.

The National President of Inter-Africa Committee (IAC), the Nigerian chapter campaigning against Harmful Traditional Practices, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM/C), Prof. Modupe Onadeko, also kicked against the practice.

“Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) often result in premature death of girls and women, as well as leave many physically, medically, psychologically and emotionally damaged for life,” she said. “To my knowledge and experience, and I have been in this for 26 years, there is no good thing that can be gained from mutilating girls and women.”

Onadeko lamented that the prevalence of FMG/C also results in marital crises, as the victims “are often frigid and cannot respond well during sexual intercourse with their husbands. In fact, this may be the reason many husbands get frustrated and seek solace and sexual satisfaction elsewhere outside their homes.”

She stated that the average national prevalence rate is 41 per cent, but reiterated, “our ultimate goal is to get it to zero level, that is, no girl or woman should ever be subjected to female genital mutilation.”

The Executive Director of Girl to Women Research Development Centre (G2W), Mrs. Olamide Falana, attributed it to ignorance and negative cultural practice threatening the lives of over 10 million girls and women in the country.

She said: “Africans generally hold the belief that partial or total cutting of the female Instruments will dissuade acts of promiscuity. However, research has shown that the mutilation of the female Instruments does not affect sexual behaviours positively.”


Please if na play, stop am! you CANNOT be this ignorant in 2018, that you have data to browse on here means you have data to educate yourself,

Re: RE: CHIMAMANDA - Female Genital Mutilation In Nigeria - Nigeria Ranks At The Top by three: 6:04pm On Jun 16, 2018

Two years after ban, FGM still rampant in Nigeria

“Circumcising her will enable her to control this (sexual) urge so she can stay with her husband without jumping from one man to another,” Muniyat Lamidi rationalises female genital mutilation (FGM).

A petty trader in Oyo, one of the south-west states with a high prevalence of female genital mutilation, Lamidi is adamant and convinced that a woman’s sexuality should be guided, tamed – or it might bring her downfall.

“If it is not done, the girl will be promiscuous and her sexual urges will be too high that she will begin to sleep around,” Lamidi tells Sola Fagurosi of the OneLife Initiative for Human Development, a non-governmental organisation that campaigns against FGM.

Lamidi is not the only one who holds this view, it is the popular narrative of those in defence of mutilation.

Her view finds its roots in the patriarchal structure of the Nigerian society where inequality of the sexes manifests so blatantly that even a gender equality bill promoting equal education opportunities has failed to become a law.

Women’s sexual needs and urges, especially in rural communities, are demonised, policed or at best seen as secondary to a man’s sexual needs.

To prevent promiscuity, Muniyat as well as many other “cutters”, believe the clitoris must be done away with.

And even though it has been internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women; and criminalised in Nigeria, FGM still occurs on a scale of massive proportions, especially among the less educated.

According to data from the Nigeria Demographics and Health Survey, 24.8 percent of Nigerian girls and women aged 15 to 49 have been circumcised, with states in the southeast region accounting for 45 percent of FGM cases; and south-western states accounting for up to 55 percent.

Osun state has the highest prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting in Nigeria with a prevalence of 76.6%, Ebonyi comes next with 74 %, Ekiti has a 72.3% prevalence rate while Imo has a 68 % rate and Oyo, a 65. 6% rate.

The report also shows that cutting occurs mostly at early childhood with 82% of women in Nigeria getting circumcised before the age of five.

One of such cases in the south-west, Ondo precisely, is that of Janet Ajanni, a teaching support staff.

Ajanni narrated her daughter’s ordeal as a victim of FGM to Fagurosi.

She said her daughter would have been long dead had it not been the intervention of medical consultants and surgeons at the University Teaching Hospital in Ibadan.

Ajanni said her mother-in-law caused the circumcision of her daughter, something she tolerated because she had been totally ignorant of FGM and its effect until 2003 when she got married, got pregnant and had the baby.

As many cases of FGM, this case did not end well.

“Six months after I left Ondo for Ibadan, Oyo state with my baby,” Ajanni narrated, adding that it was not until her daughter turned three years that she discovered a growing bump on her Instruments.

“When my girl turned three years, I noticed that where she was cut had swollen. I wondered what it could be whenever I bathed her. By the time she was 8-years-old, it had grown very big.”

Ajanni said when her kid turned eight, she decided to inform her mother-in-law who proffered a re-circumcision as the solution.

This time Ajanni did not heed but by 2010, when her child turned eight the keloid had grown so big that it was alarming.

That was the beginning of the rather tortuous journey to healing, healing that will never be complete as Ajanni’s daughter had got part of her Instruments cut – an act that is irreversible.

“I took her to a clinic in our neighbourhood and was opportune to see a matron. She inserted a syringe into the keloid and said it was mucus that accumulated in it. She recommended some drugs, I paid for her drugs and it was administered on her.”

The drugs made Ajanni’s daughter so drowsy that she slept through school on that day and afterwards, Ajanni said her daughter began to “lose her memory”.

“This made me stop the medications.” she said.

The swelling was still there showing no signs of abating, so Ajanni decided to talk to someone about the situation.

“I explained to one of my customer that works at the University College Hospital, Ibadan post-mortem department,” she said.

“He exclaimed and chastised me for keeping it to myself. I followed his advice and took her to UCH, Ibadan. After the back and forth at the hospital, we eventually saw the doctor who referred us to the laboratory for test. After these series of test, we were asked to come for drugs. (First of all, it was) monthly, then bi-monthly and then weekly.

“When we are almost rounding off her treatment we were asked to see the doctor again, he tested her and told us that the keloid had to be operated.”

Ajanni spent N35,000 naira on the surgical procedure to take out the keloid that was caused by the FGM procedure which cost just N500.

“Without the surgery at the hospital. I would have lost my daughter from complications that followed her circumcision.”


Ajanni’s daughter’s life is no longer in danger yet the circumcision and the attendant trauma cannot be reversed.

Ajanni then decided to stay off circumcising her other child.

“Her sister who I had after her is not circumcised and she is fine,” she said with a tinge of regret in her tone.

In Kajola, a local government with the highest FGM prevalence rate in Oyo, a certain reverend simply identified as Olawuwo, defended the FGM as a fundamental aspect of culture.

Olawuwo, like the other Oyo residents interviewed during this project, believes circumcision upholds a woman’s virtue – stops her from being promiscuous.

He had tattoos on his arm that carried the name of his sisters. He explained that the tattoos were in commemoration of his sister’s circumcision.

“If I had two girls, I would circumcise one and not the other and will warn the uncircumcised one that immediately she shows sign of promiscuity, I’ll get her cut,” said the reverend.

A slightly different reason for FGM in the south-south

In Cross River, the reason for female circumcision is slightly different. FGM, in that culture, signifies a coming of age for women, a readiness for marriage and then preparation for marriage. Yet it is rooted in a culture that deeply ties a woman’s worth to marriage and the appearance of her Instruments.

According to UNICEF, some of the other social and cultural factors for FGM include it being considered as “a necessary part of raising a girl, and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage.”

“FGM is often motivated by beliefs about what is considered acceptable sexual behaviour. It aims to ensure premarital virginity and marital fidelity. FGM is in many communities believed to reduce a woman’s libido and therefore believed to help her resist extramarital sexual acts. When a vaginal opening is covered or narrowed the fear of the pain of opening it, and the fear that this will be found out, is expected to further discourage extramarital sexual intercourse among women with this type of FGM. Where it is believed that being cut increases marriageability, FGM is more likely to be carried out.

Gift Abu, a social worker at the Centre for Social Value and Early Development explains that this practice is done in Cross River state for a number of reasons.

“It is a thing of pride and recognition and a sign that the girls who are mutilated have become women”, she says.

Another anti-FGM advocate, Margaret Onah of safe haven Nigeria, says ending FGM in the state is a daunting one as it is deeply entrenched.

In Cross River where she spreads the anti-FGM campaign, she says it is an expensive rite to passage of womanhood and indigent parents actually “stretch themselves” to ensure their girls go through a practices that involves a girl stay in a fattening room where she is fed food to make her appealing for marriage.

“FGM is an initiation to womanhood and if you do not do it you are regarded as incomplete,” Onah claims.

“It is usually done in these communities on eight day old girls and even on adults. In some communities it is done when the girl is between ages 10 and 15. For some, it is done on the night when the bride price is paid and in cases where the girl gets pregnant and she is yet to be mutilated, it is done seven months into the pregnancy.”

Gift Abu explains that there have been a number of deaths and complications arising from effects female genital mutilation. It is, however, difficult to prove to locals who patronize Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and hospitals as they allude the cause of death and complications to other reasons.

Are the laws efficiently putting a stop to FGM?

After nearly 13 years of trying to make a law against FGM in Nigeria, the government of Goodluck Jonathan finally outlawed FGM in 2015.

This was a milestone in the talk and walk against FGM as it signified a governmental backing against a practice that held sway in Nigeria.

Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) 2015, the anti-FGM law, was endorsed by the Nigerian senate on May 2015.

FGM Imo State
A victim narrates her experience in Imo state

According to the law, “a person who performs female circumcision or genital mutilation or engages another to carry out such circumcision or mutilation commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 4 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000 or both.”

But till date, no one has been convicted despite the prevalence in Nigeria.

According to Rachel Arowolo, whose parents are firm believers in FGM, it is simply hard to condemn or report family members who are usually the culprits of female genital mutilations.

For FGM, as with many other gender based crimes, it stays in the family.

“It will be difficult for one to take anyone to court because of how closely knitted our society is. We must do more in terms of bringing about behaviour change”

Why FGM should stop

FGM has no known medical benefits to women and girls. In fact, according to the UNFPA, the attendant consequence of FGM are dire.

“Complications include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage, tetanus or infection, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissue, wound infection, urinary infection, fever, and septicemia. Haemorrhage and infection can be severe enough to cause death,” UNFPA says.

“Long-term consequences include complications during childbirth, anaemia, the formation of cysts and abscesses, keloid scar formation, damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence, dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse), sexual dysfunction, hypersensitivity of the genital area and increased risk of HIV transmission, as well as psychological effects,” the organisation continued.

Some key FGM facts

Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated1.
FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.
FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
There are four types of FGM
Type 1: Often referred to as clitoridectomy, this is the partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals), and in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).

Type 2: Often referred to as excision, this is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva), with or without excision of the labia majora (the outer folds of skin of the vulva ).

Type 3: Often referred to as infibulation, this is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora, or labia majora, sometimes through stitching, with or without removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy).

Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female Instruments for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

This project was done with support from Code for Africa and with research materials from Sola Fagurosi of OneLife Initiative for Human Development.

Data credit: Code for Africa


Re: RE: CHIMAMANDA - Female Genital Mutilation In Nigeria - Nigeria Ranks At The Top by Sarkin: 6:57pm On Jun 16, 2018
Madness. But honestly, all my life here in Nigeria I've never heard or seen of such vile practice.
Re: RE: CHIMAMANDA - Female Genital Mutilation In Nigeria - Nigeria Ranks At The Top by CAPSLOCKED: 7:15pm On Jun 16, 2018

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