By Elizabeth Uwandu & Oyetade Oyetunji
Worried that despite laws against female genital mutilation, FGM, the practice still persists in countries especially developing countries, the United Nations International Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Nigeria is set to host the next edition of Frown Challenge to commence in April 2019 and end March 2020.
Maryam Enyiazu, Child Protection Specialist on behalf of UNICEF made this known at the maiden edition of Frown Challenge Awards, an event that advocated for the clampdown on female genital mutilation. It was organised in partnership with the Human Right Clinic, University of Lagos. UNILAG.
At the event to mark the 16 days activism on gender-based violence, that had more than 1000 persons in attendance, Enyiazu noted that FGM was an abuse against humanity.
“We are here to celebrate the milestones recorded in the abandonment of female genital mutilation; to celebrate activists that have stood against the practice in Nigeria.
“UNICEF is proud to be part of this partnership and is committed to continue supporting government and other stakeholders at all levels to accelerate efforts for the total elimination of FGM in Nigeria by 2030 as stipulated by Sustainable Development Goal 5.3 “eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
“We are hoping that the next edition of Frown Challenge will commence in April 2019 and end March 2020. The Frown awards aims at expanding to every form of violence against the girl-child and children around the world,” she said.
“Frown Challenge, hosted by Ariyeke Akinbobola saw Ojo Oluwatosin, one of the 12 Frown challenge monthly winners crowned the overall winner, while Ojimadu Olachi and Bankole Olayinka were second and first runners-up respectively.
The event which had the presence of Erelu Bisi Fayemi, wife of Ekiti State governor, who was given a special award of honour for her role in passing the gender-based violence bill 2013 in Ekiti State. Other awardees were Funke Akindele, Mbam Njideka. Award of honour were given to seven other awardees for their recognition and appreciation of their contribution to FGM abandonment in Nigeria.