During our market outreach at the popular Bodija market in Ibadan, we were astonished by the opinion of a woman that an end to Female Genital Mutilation was a dream that can never come through. She would soon be supported by an Okada rider, who believes in the heresies that an uncut girl is not complete and has a low chance of conceiving.
Fortunately for us, the testimony of a woman from Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state, who was not mutilated and didn’t fo the same for her children, disproved the belief that an uncut woman will have a stillbirth or have difficulty conceiving. To corroborate this, a Muslim cleric, who mutilated one of his two daughters, explained that the there has been no noticeable essence of the act.
While we intensify efforts to influence wrong perceptions about FGM, supposed traditionalists, who think it can not end, should be made to realize that FGM violates the girl’s rights and comes with legal implications. The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, passed in 2015, prohibits female circumcision or genital mutilation, forceful ejection from home and harmful widowhood practices.
The challenge has been with proponents of culture who thinks #EndFGM is alien. They should realize that FGM could only be a source of excruciating pain from different complications. A woman who mutilated one of her daughters due to pressure narrated how her younger sister almost died from complications after being mutilated at 10.
These eye-opening discussions helped many of our audience of over 300 people decide not to mutilate their girls.