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309 Communities End Female Circumcision

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund says over 309 communities in Nigeria have stopped  female genital mutilation. 

The UNICEF Country representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Fall, made the disclosure in Abuja to during the commemoration the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, marked every February 6 yearly.

He noted that 2016/2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey showed some decline in the incidence of FGM in the country, adding that based on the survey 18.4 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 years now undergo FGM as against 27 per cent in 2011.

Fall said, “UNICEF and partners’ interventions to ensure the elimination of FGM by 2030 has resulted in a break in the barrier against discussing FGM publicly. “Religious leaders, community stakeholders and young people now speak out against this practice. Subsequently, last year, more than 309 communities publicly declared abandonment of the practice.

“Despite this decline, millions of girls and women are still faced with the scourge of genital mutilation every year in Nigeria. There is, therefore, an urgent need for decision-makers and political leaders to take concrete action towards ending the harmful practice of FGM in Nigeria,” Fall said in a statement.

He identified FGM as a violation of women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment.

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