Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has become a major point of concern to many people in Nigeria and other parts of the world. FGM is popularly known as female circumcision in Nigeria and it involves the complete or partial removal of the female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
FGM is considered to be a violation of the rights of the girlchild according to the United Nations General Assembly.
Young girls are often subjected to a lifetime of torture when they are made to go through this nightmare.
A recent survey carried out by NOI polls revealed that many Nigerians are ready to support the legislation that will put an end to this mutilation. This decision of theirs supports the aim of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that longs to get rid of harmful practices like early child marriage, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
The United Nations General Assembly acknowledged ‘The Girl Child Resolution’ as a violation of the girlchild rights. Thousands of girls have been made to go through this ugly practice with a majority of them living in the sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab states.
In Africa, FGM is being practiced in 29 countries including Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Sudan and so on.
In Nigeria, some states have high prevalence when it comes to FGM; states like Ondo, Kwara, Delta, Ebonyi, Niger, Adamawa, Cross River, Anambra and Enugu have received attention when it comes to this practice.
There is a need for this practice to be eradicated completely in Nigeria. Majority of the people in Nigeria has condemned this practice while a few people support it.
It is disheartening to think that this act is still ongoing in African countries as there are grave consequences of carrying it out. FGM most times has obstetrics outcomes and instant consequences like excessive bleeding, infection and a psychological imbalance that may threaten life.
There are long term effects like sexual dysfunction, menstrual and fertility problems and difficulty with childbirth.
The latest poll conducted showed the attitude, knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of Nigerians to FGM. On this note, the awareness of the people to FGM and the knowledge of the imposed dangers were considered. The poll was also conducted across age, gender, geographical location, religious belief and cultural settings.
FGM is particularly prevalent in Moro, Ilorin-south, Ilorin-north in Kwara state and Akure-north and Akure-south in Ondo state. It should be noted that some of the respondents said the practice is quite prevalent in their locality.
The percentage of prevalence in the South-South is 54, 32 in the North-East, South-East and South West has 30 percent each.
The facts gathered revealed that those who support female circumcision stated their reason for supporting the practice.
According to them, it prevents women from being promiscuous. Some people from Adamawa state also claimed it has become their tradition and it would have to be done no matter what.
Most of the people who are in support of this practice claim it has no health complications even though the UN population fund believes the practice has serious implications for the sexual and reproductive health of girls and women.
Some of those who have experienced it also have issues with urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to the adjacent tissue. Those who have gone through the ordeal also have to deal with urinary infection, fever, anaemia, septicaemia and complications during childbirth.
Those who pledged their support for the act also said it helps women have an easy delivery while some claimed their religion supports it.
For the 88 percent of people who condemned the act, they claim the act is unnecessary and harmful. Some also claimed it is not being supported by their religion and also violates human rights. This percentage also wants the practice to be abolished in the country.