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CMD urges FG to step up fight against female genital mutilation



By Ruona Isikeh
Benin, Feb. 6 (NNN) Dr Peters Irobo, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Triumphant Hospital, Benin, has called on the Federal Government to intensify the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country.

Irobo made the call on Wednesday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Benin on this year’s celebration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

He stressed that FGM was an outright violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Irobo underscored the need to deal with deep-rooted inequality existing between the male and female sexes, which constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women, in the country.

“ Female Genital Mutilation is an ancient practice, which involves cutting the clitoris of a girl under the erroneous assumption that the girl would not be promiscuous or wild when she grows up.

“ Female Genital Mutilation leads to bleeding, infections and, sometimes, death because in most cases, it is done with unsterile tools,’’ he added.

The gynaecologist said that the practice was usually carried out on a baby girl shortly after birth, adding that it was also done when the girl had reached puberty or when a woman was pregnant with her first child.

Irobo noted that FGM had its roots in some African and Asian countries, adding that it was part of the cultural rites of those civilisations.

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is celebrated annually on Feb. 6 so as to raise global awareness on the dangers of the practice and the need to stop it.

NNN reports that the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015, stipulates that any person that performs female circumcision or genital cutting or hires another person to do so has committed an offence.

The law prescribes four years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000, or both, as punishment for the offence. (NNN)