September 28, 2020

Ebonyi local govts fix October to end female circumcision


Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

By Peter Okutu

Abakalikiv— Ivo and Ishielu Local Government areas of Ebonyi State, weekend, fixed dates for a public denouncement of female circumcision (Female Genital Mutilations, FGM.

While  Ivo, which has five communities chose October 31, Ishielu, with 15 communities fixed 24.

The two local governments, during a consensus meeting with key stakeholders for FGM abandonment at Ascension Church hall Ntezi, Ishielu council and Isiaka, headquarters of Ivo Local Government Council on September 22 and 24, respectively, shared their experiences while trying to persuade their people against the practice.

ALSO READ: Female Genital Mutilation: A Persistent Cultural Scourge

While sharing their experiences, they pointed out ignorance and low self-esteem as two of the major factors that lure people into FGM practise.

Mr Okechukwu Ali from Nkaleha in Ishielu LGA  noted that ending FGM practices was realisable, as they have been able to convince their people against engaging in it.

He said: “It was not an easy thing to convince them. While speaking with the people, I noticed that ignorance, low self-esteem factored into these practices.

“And this has also made many people to deny themselves of help that could have come their way.”

Also, Mr. Theophilous Nwafor said: “the problem we are having is that those in the village agreed that FGM  practice is real, but about 60% of childbearing women in our place leaves outside the village.

“We want you people to organize sensitization programme in December  period for our people when they normally come home.”

In his remarks, the Director of National Orientation Agency, NOA, Ebonyi state, Dr Emmanuel Abah while addressing the people stressed the need for the introduction of community enforcement mechanism.

He noted that with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef to end  FGM practices in the communities, they have been able to engage critical stakeholders on FGM abandonment, training of FGM community champions, sensitization of women during the annual women’s home and abroad meeting, advocacy dialogue with Traditional rulers, Religious leaders, among others.