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Group seeks end to female genital mutilation in Oyo

Group seeks end to female genital mutilation in Oyo
December 05
00:22 2020

Youthhub Africa, a youth-focused organisation, has taken a campaign against female genital mutilation to Ona-Ara and Oluyole local government areas of Oyo state. 

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The organisation held a two-day advocacy programme as part of activities to commemorate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

In a statement on Friday, the group said Oyo is one of the states with a high record of female genital mutilation (FGM).

According to the group, the training which held on November 30 and December 1, had in attendance 35 men from Ona-Ara and Oluyole LGAs in Ibadan, the state capital.

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“Despite several efforts to reduce the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria, statistics still shows a national prevalence of 20% with Oyo State as one of the major contributing states with prevalence higher in urban centres relative to rural centres”, the statement read.

“Rooted in cultural beliefs and myths, mothers still engage in cutting their female children based on reports from these communities. Previous efforts on eradication of this harmful practice has been focused on women which has produced results. However, to end this practice in Nigeria’s heavily patriarchal society, men are now being actively involved.

“With support from the UNFPA, Youthhub Africa partnered with Onelife Initiative to organize a 2-day training on advocating for Female Genital Mutilation eradication in Oyo State. This was part of the activities done to commemorate 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”.

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The group launched the Oyo chapter of Young Men Network against sexual and gender-based violence (YMNSGBV) “with the aim of championing and ending of all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the state”.

“In Ona-Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State, the prevalence of FGM is still worrisome. During the sensitisation carried out by the newly inaugurated Young Men’s Network, a barber argued passionately that the main reason why there are incidences of unplanned pregnancies among young girls is because FGM was not being done on all of them,” the statement read.

“This opinion was countered with the fact that there is always a boy or man responsible for every pregnancy.”

Speaking on the harmful effect of FGM, B.O. Olawoyin, Oyo state FGM coordinator, said the practice impacts negatively on the sexual life of women, adding that there is a need for men to support the eradication of the practice as they also share in the consequence.

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“Men have severally acknowledged and complained about the negative impact of FGM on their sexual relationship with their female partners,” she said.

According to her, the effect of FGM includes genital tissue swelling, urination problems, chronic genital infections, menstrual problems among others.

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