Health Education Can End Female Genital Mutilation – UNICEF

As the world celebrated the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, on February 6, The United Nations Children’s Fund in a report said it was important to keep educating girls and women on the negative implications of FGM.

UNICEF explained that daughters of educated women were less likely to be cut than those whose mothers were uneducated.

According to the World Health Organisation, FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice has no health benefits for girls and women and causes severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

The practice of FGM is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It is nearly always carried out by traditional practitioners on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.

In a UNICEF report, titled, ‘Ending Female Genital Mutilation: Data that delivers change and results for girls and women,’ UNICEF said approximately 35 per cent of girls aged zero to 14 in the Southeast are affected by FGM, closely followed by the Southwest region with 30 per cent of girls affected.

It added that it was worrisome to note that Ekiti State accounted for nearly 24 per cent of girls affected by FGM, while Oyo State had 21 per cent.

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