Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), an Abuja-based NGO on Tuesday, restated its commitment to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria.
Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the group said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Ikokwu described female genital mutilation as not only barbaric and cruel but a total violation of human rights against the girl child and women.
She extolled the virtues of women as mothers of nations who deserved dignity not dehumanising treatment as cuttings.
“No sane culture at the moment will support or uphold female genital mutilation because it is not only cruel but a deliberate torture of the girl child or woman.
“Cutting girls and women can lead to infertility, bacterial infections, cysts and depression.
“We must all stand up against it because it is traumatic, repulsive, dehumanising and capable of impeding the progress and development of the girl and woman,” she said.
Ikokwu explained that it was time to begin sensitisation of traditional people who carried out the mutilation of the genitals on the hazards of the practice, as they often played other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths.
The SOHI boss said female genital mutilation was a reflection of deep-rooted inequality between the sexes and constituted an extreme degrading treatment to girls and women.
Ikokwu said that female genital mutilation could cause severe bleeding and urinary problem, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
According to her, in many settings, health care providers perform female genital mutilation due to the belief that the procedure is safer when done in an Orthodox manner but it’s wrong and must be discouraged completely.
FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) strongly urges health care providers not to perform FGM. (NAN)