Implement the Law banning Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria now!

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Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as Female Genital Cutting (FGC) in Nigeria accounts for the most female genital cutting/mutilation (FGM/C) cases worldwide. The practice is customarily a family tradition that the young female of the age 0-15 would experience. It is a procedure that involves partial or completely removing the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whenever for non-medical reasons. The practice is considered harmful to girls and women and a violation of human rights. FGM causes infertility, maternal death, infections, and the loss of sexual pleasure.

Nationally, 27% of Nigerian women between the ages of 15 and 49 were victims of FGM, as of 2012. In the last 30 years, prevalence of the practice has decreased by half in some parts of Nigeria. Despite the graveness of the issue, the practicing societies look on it as an integral part of their tradition and cultural identity. In the communities that follow excision of female genitalia, FGM/C is associated with ethnicity, culture, prevailing social norms, and sometimes as religious obligations. In majority of the cases it has been documented that their own family members such as parents mainly mothers, grandparents, and grandmothers of the girls are the perpetrators of this act.

In May 2015, then President Goodluck Jonathan signed a federal law banning FGM. Opponents of the practice cite this move as an important step forward in Africa, as Nigeria is the most populous country and has set an important precedent.

As we mark the International Day of Zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, join us to advocate for the full implementation of the Law by calling on the Federal Government to ensure there are accountability units in all 774 Local Government Areas saddled with the responsibility of enlightening local communities and ensuring that no culprit is left unpunished.

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