By Esther Nworie
The Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), Nigeria, with support from United Nations Population Fund UNFPA, Friday organized a community dialogue on the abandonment of female genital mutilation for communities in the Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Over eleven communities in the area participated in the community dialogue which started on Wednesday through Friday, May 7th, 2021, including traditional rulers.
The communities include Nkeleke Echara Unuhu, Agalagu, Ndebo Ishieke, Echara Ndibo, Mbeke Ishieke, Onuenyim Ishieke, Ndiagu Ishieke, Ndiagu Izzi Ishieke, Oguzoronweya, Nkaleke Echara Ndiagu, Nkaleke Achara.
Onyinye Okah, Secretary CIRDDOC Nigeria while addressing the community members, urged them to remain the advocates against gender based violence in their area.
CIRDDOC explained that the organization doesn’t force people to abandon the female genital mutilation phenomenon but educates them on the danger which now encourages them to abandon the practice and even criminalise it.
CIRDDOC said that community dialogue became necessary after a survey was carried out by UNICEF and UNFPA and statistics revealed that the FGM prevalence rate was high in four local government areas of the state including the Ebonyi Local Government Area.
“We are here to engage community members, to have community dialogue on FGM abandonment. The research was carried out by UNICEF and UNFPA on the prevalence rate of FGM in Ebonyi State and the result shows that the prevalence rate of FGM was high in four local governments, Ebonyi, Ohaukwu, Afikpo North, and Ikwo.
“We worked in Ikwo last year and because of the intervention, all the communities in Ikwo have declared the abandonment of FGM and we want the same thing to happen in Ebonyi.
“We don’t impose, we don’t force the people to abandon FGM what we do is to carry out series of interventions and that is the intervention we have started this time around. We carry out the various interventions in these LGAs hopefully by next year they will also publicly declare the abandonment of FGM.
Onyinye noted that with the support from UNFPA, awareness from CIRDDOC the rate has reduced.
“The essence of the dialogue is for people from both old and new generation, youth and the aged women and men to come together and suggest solution ta o ensure that FGM is eradicated in these various communities.
Mrs. Joy Eze a resource person, in her presentation, said while FGM was observed in the past as culture, the health implication is enormous therefore the people have to stop it.
She explained other cultural practices which are not harmful to the health of the people especially the women should be promoted but harmful cultures should be abolish
She noted that FGM complications could lead to poverty as any man whose wife had complications during childbirth as a result of FGM, the money which should have been used to train their children in the school will be used to take care of hospital bills.
She advised the participants to remain the advocate of # Endfgm in their various communities.
A participant in the dialogue, Nicodemus Olebe from Nduofia Nkeleke, said FGM makes life difficult for women, therefore he will step down the lesson he learned especially on the use of Vaseline, powder to press down the clitoris of a girl child which is relatively high among young nursing mothers in the area today.Follow us