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Osun Communities Renounce Female Circumcision As UNICEF, NOA Take Campaign Against FGM To Rural Areas

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By Nafisat Arogundade, Osogbo

Efforts at eradicating the Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, in Osun received a boost on Friday, as two communities in Ife Central Local Government Area of the state declared their intentions to completely stop the Practice

The declaration was made at the Female Genital Mutilation Abandonment/ Elimination Declaration Ceremony organised by National Orientation Agency in collaboration with the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) held at Atidade’s palace, Fasina, Ile-Ife.

The communities that declared against Female Genital Mutilation include Modomo and Oduduwa communities, Ife Central local government area of the state.

Speaking on behalf of the people of the communities, the head of the Oduduwa community, Chief Augustine Olasoji Oyediran and Chief Hassan Azeez of Modomo community signed an agreement with the pledges that they would stop FGM practice.

The duo of Baale Oduduwa and Modomo Communities after receiving certificates of oath promised to support UNICEF and NOA efforts in eliminating the practice in the state just as they appreciated them for the love they have for the people of the communities.

Earlier, Mrs Aderonke Olutayo, UNICEF consultant for South West, (Osun,Ekiti and Oyo state) described Female Genital Mutilation, a cultural practice of removing part of the female genital either as a customary rite of initiation into womanhood or as a check against promiscuity, as harmful.

According to the UNICEF representative, the harmful practice is prevalent in developing countries, especially in Africa.

She said the affected females live with the negative consequences of the practice, which undermines their physical, emotional and socio-economic well-being.

She described FGM as a harmful traditional practice, a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of women, which seriously compromised their health and psychological well-being.

She said, “FGM is not only harmful but also against nature as it destroys the wholesome and beautiful way women and girls are naturally created.

“It poses increased risk of infection or prolonged labour, bleeding, still-birth and maternal death during childbirth as well as leaves lasting physical, emotional scars and an irreparable damage.”

She urged stakeholders to collaborate in the campaign to end its menace in their respective communities.

The state director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Prince Olalekan Adesoji said the agency had carried out series of programmes to sensitise the public on the effects of female genital mutilation.

He therefore appealed to the residents in the state to always abstain from the acts, saying female circumcision does not bear any positive fruit but rather a basket of dangers and sometimes death to the women.

Adesoji commended the traditional and community leaders in the area for dropping the age-long practice.

The Executive Secretary, Ife Central Local Government , Olusakin Olasogo expressed displeasure over the practice , saying there was the need for the communities to make sure that the menace is completely eradicated.

He said the contribution of the state government had impacted positively towards putting an end to Female Genital Mutilation.

He hinted that the state has enacted law prohibiting the practice saying whoever is found guilty would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

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