The Honourable Minister for Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has stated that Genital Mutilation is a serious crime against the woman and girl child.
In 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, with the aim to amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice.
This year the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC) jointly launch the 2021 theme: “No Time for Global Inaction, Unite, Fund, and Act to End Female Genital Mutilation.” Many countries are experiencing a “crisis within a crisis” due to the pandemic including an increase in female genital mutilation. That is why the United Nations call on the global community to reimagine a world that enables girls and women to have voice, choice, and control over their own lives.
In Nigeria, marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation today 6th February 2021, the Hon. Minister for Women Affairs stormed Ludge village, in AMAC Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for grassroots campaign against female mutilation.
Dame Pauline Tallen who was received by Mallam Salihu Jodi, the District Head, Lugbe District, expressed delight in the humility of the Minister and her passion in the fight against female genital mutilation in Nigeria.
The President FCT Association of Wives of Traditional Rulers, Mrs. Hawa Adamu pointed out that the women are at the receiving end, disclosing that the grassroots campaign against the female genital mutilation which is championed by the Hon. Minister would in no small measure yield immeasurable result.
Also speaking at the event was the Social Development FCT Secretariate Representative, Mrs. Asabe Precious Umar.
“We want female mutilation to stop. Hon. Minister, Your coming to this village to campaign against this, has persuaded us to take the bull by the horn as we have taken it upon ourselves to take the campaign to other villages.”
The President, Women Against Violence and Exploitation, WAVE, Mrs. Lola Ibrahim who is a victim of the mutilation stated that female genital mutilation does no good to women.
“I am a victim of genital mutilation, my mum was as well as my grandmother. It is a high time we put to a stop the monster crime against women”, she urged.
The Director of Health, family health Department, federal ministry of Health, Dr. Salma Anaskolo elucidated that commitment is to be consolidated as well as efforts to arrest the issue.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Anthonia Akpabio Ekpa while addressing women at the event pointed out that genital mutilation is not good, as she said, there must be zero tolerance to the act.
Also, the United Nations Representative, Ms. Ulla Mueller emphasized that genital mutilation deprives a woman of her rights, risks her health into increased Virginia infection.
Hon. Dame Pauline Tallen also shared a sorrowful story of a woman who last her marriage on the account of female genital mutilation.
” A woman recently lost her marriage because she was mutilated. The husband divorced her on the basis that he doesn’t enjoy sex with her, simply because she was mutilated”.
She urged the general public including traditional, religious leaders to taken this message and campaign against female genital mutilation to the very least in their community as she stated that any who is caught mutilating any woman or girl child will go for four (4) years imprisonment or an equivalent fine of two hundred thousand nairas only.