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Media practitioners join fight against female genital mutilation, circumcision in Anambra

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta & Lawrence Nwimo

Media practitioners have declared their readiness to join the fight to end gender-based violence in Anambra State.

The practitioners made this known on Thursday, during a roundtable discussion with human rights watchdogs, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC). The event was themed, “Harmful traditional practices with focus on female genital mutilation and cutting”.

The brainstorming session drew the interest of the journalists who agreed that the practice of female genital mutilation and circumcision need to stop,  to save the women folk from the consequences associated with such practice.

While they expressed worry that the practice of genital mutilation, circumcision and unmerciful cutting, if continued, poses health hazards to female children who are often helpless to fight for their rights, they assured to galvanize supports towards the fight to save women in the society.

Panel discussants comprising State Coordinator, Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law Implementation Committee, Mrs. Hope Okoye and State Coordinator Legal Aide Council, Nkoli Ebede, stressed that traditional practice of unmerciful cuts and female genital mutilation was traceable to harmful tradition and culture, which, they said, arose because the culture wrongly view it as a means of controlling sexual urge of the women folk.

They explained that some communities owing to the rate of child births device other methods of female genital mutilation including the use of dusting powder, hot waters, among other traditional methods aimed at stifling the sex organ of the girl child.

They also issued legal implication of indulging in the inhumane acts, stressing that culprits stand to face the wrath of the law that may include four years jail term and other fines as may be applicable. 

Appreciating the support of the media in the fight against the violation of women rights, the Anambra State Coordinator, RoLAC programmes, Mrs. Josephine Onah, said there was need to maintain consistency in the fight against women rights violations. She also said sensitization was a powerful tool in the drive to stop the practice of female gender mutilation and other harmful practices against women. 

At the interactive session, RoLAC team, including RoLAC programme consultants, Prof. Mercy Anagbogu and Loveth Uju Onyendilefu, emphasised that it had carried out several awareness programmes to eight different communities in the state. According to them, the community members were advised to eschew such practice to save the future of their female children.

Orient Daily reports that the overall aim of the programme was to end harmful traditional practices and female genital mutilation in Anambra state, as well as sensitize the communities on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law as a framework to accessing justice.

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