Obaseki seeks intercontinental action to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

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Obaseki seeks intercontinental action to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

As expected, on learning of the news of the pro-FGM court petition, the campaigners against female genital mutilation immediately protested very loudly both online and in the streets, and with good reason.

Shashi Tharoor MP said that the custom of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) should be banned through legislation.

"By 2030, more than a third of all births worldwide will be in the 30 countries where female genital mutilation is practiced".

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, noted that the harmful practice is mostly carried out on young girls when they have no option to make their wishes heard-sometime between infancy and age 15.

Anti-FGM group Orchid Project lists 10 Asian countries and nine Middle Eastern countries where there is evidence FGM exists including Pakistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia and Thailand.

"OAC will support teachers to encourage children to talk to teachers, school nurses, or anyone they feel safe with at school, if they are anxious about FGM or any type of bodily or sexual harm". The fact is that regions with the highest numbers of FGM are not only ignorant of the risks of FGM, they are also ignorant of sexual health, psychological health, and so much more. Long-term complications can include anemia, scarring, cysts, difficulty urinating, menstrual disorders, fistulas, recurrent urinary tract infections, prolonged labour, and infertility.

- Type 2: When the clitoris and inner lips are cut off. It can include removal or partial removal of a woman's external genitalia, narrowing of the vaginal opening and other harmful procedures like pricking or cauterising the genital area.

Rempel will table that petition today, and called on the government to do more to combat FGM at home and overseas during a news conference on Parliament Hill. The Bohras practice Type 1 FGM or popularly referred as "Khatna". FGM is not prescribed by religious texts, it is cultural - and often performed as a rite of passage to ready women for marriage or increase her marriageability.

She also said that although the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to 90 per cent prevalence among girls and women.

Most of us in our communities have experiences of complications that come with FGM. This is because they fear ostracism, and speaking out in public affects their private lives as well.

It is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM, according to the UN.

"The psychosocial consequences of infertility in communities where childbirth and child rearing play a major role for women should not be underestimated".

In the Arab World, FGM is concentrated in poorer Arab countries on the African continent: it is frequent in Somalia, Djibouti, Egypt and Sudan.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize that female genital mutilation undermines progress towards a more equal, just and prosperous world, and target by 2030 its elimination.

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