FGM/C is the “any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury of the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.”
       The World Health Organization (WHO) 1997.
          What is the situation of FGM/C in Nigeria?
          Prevalence of girls and women aged 15-49years who have undergone FGM/C in Nigeria is (27%). 
          3rd highest absolute number of women/ girls who have undergone FGM/C worldwide (after Egypt and Ethiopia). 
          19.9 million Nigerian women have undergone FGM/C
       approximately 16% of the 125 million FGM/C survivors worldwide are Nigerian.
          Most prevalent among Yoruba women (55%), followed by Igbo women (45%).
          32% of urban women have undergone FGM/C, as compared with rural women (19%).
          More women having undergone FGM/C in the southern zones than in northern zones.
          What are the different types of FGM/C?
World Health Organization (WHO) classifies FGM/C in 4 types:
       Type 1 (Clitoridectomy): Partial or total removal of the clitoris, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
       Type 2 (Excision): Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are “the lips” that surround the vagina).
       Type 3 (Infibulation): narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
       Type 4 (Unclassified): all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.
       Who is at Risk?
       FGM/C is carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women.
       In Africa, over 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk for FGM/C annually. 
       More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM/C is concentrated.
       FGM/C Abandonment: Role of the young people (1 of 3)
       Education to end FGM
       (This approach involved iintegrating FGM/C issues into both formal and non-formal education to ensure that ‘tomorrow’s parents’ do not accept FGM unquestioningly as an inviolable tradition.
       Peer Education approach
       (This approach aims to influence young people’s attitudes and behaviour patterns for the better using their trained peers)
       Intergenerational dialogue
       This approach brings together, old and young people, to reflect on their values, customs, traditions and expectations and to consider  whether, when, how and under what conditions change should take place.
       Alternative rites of passage
       This involves the introduction of alternative rituals to eliminate the harmful custom while maintaining the positive aspects of initiation.
       Positive deviance approach
       This approach seeks to convey a positive image of uncut girls and women and to raise their social status.
       Young people are the key to change.
       It is essential that they become empowered through education and various approaches to bring about behavioural change.
       It is equally important to involve their social environment into the change process – the decision-makers, that is, such as parents and traditional and religious leaders
       Why is FGM/C done?
       To help ensure a woman remains a virgin until marriage
       Hygiene. Some communities believe that the external female genitals that are cut (the clitoris or the labia or both) are unclean.
       Rite of passage. In some countries, FGM/C is a part of the ritual that a girl goes through to be considered a woman.
       Condition of marriage. In some countries, a girl or woman is cut in order to be suitable for marriage.
       Belief that FGM/C increases sexual pleasure for the man
       Religious duty, although no religion’s holy texts require FGM/C.
       How does FGM/C affect a girl’s or woman’s health immediately after the cutting?
       The type of FGM/C done determines the severity.
       Severe pain
       Serious bleeding
       Infection of the wound
       Problems urinating
       Tetanus and other infectious diseases, such as HIV, from unsterilized cutting tools
       How does FGM/C affect a girl’s or woman’s health in the long term?
       Infections (such as genital abscesses)
       Problems having sex.(e.g. pain).
       Depression and anxiety
       Painful and prolonged menstrual periods
       Urinary problems
       Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) or Recto Vaginal Fistula (RVF).
       This can happen when the urethra or rectum is damaged during FGM/C. Fistula causes incontinence and other problems, including odors, and can cause girls and women to become social outcasts.
       Is FGM/C against the LAW?
       There is a federal law outlawing the practice of FGM/C in Nigeria. The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPP), 2015
       Eight states also have laws prohibiting FGM/C, namely: Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Edo, Cross River and Rivers.
       Why does Nigeria consider FGM/C to be violence against women & child abuse?
       Nigeria considers FGM/C to be a serious human rights abuse; a form of gender-based violence and child abuse. 
       Forced on many girls without their consent
       Painful and offers no health benefits
       Causes long-term physical and mental health problems.
       For these reasons, the Nigerian government works with other development partners to help end the practice.
Accelerating change
          The Programme seeks to contribute to the overall goal as set by the Interagency Statement on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and reaffirmed by the 2012 United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/1462 to
        support governments,
       and girls and women
concerned towards the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.
Bottlenecks to  FGM Abandonment
  • Gradual/slow pace in achieving social norm change
  • Denial of the practice in some high prevalence communities
  • Illiteracy
  • Myths around FGM/C
  • Economic benefits for circumcisers and loss of livelihood following abandonment of the practice
  • Limited resources
High level commitment on FGM/C elimination
  • Nigeria has actively participated in high level regional and global events to end FGM/C where commitments were made in support of FGM/C elimination with concrete actions towards actualisation.
  • Both government and civil society representatives to the AU conference and Girl Summit established linkages with relevant regional and international organisations that are beneficial to Nigeria’s Programme on FGM/C abandonment. 
Evidence informed programming
  • Completed situation assessment on FGM/C and a Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) study, including a qualitative study on social norms influencing FGM/C in five high prevalence states (Ebonyi, Imo, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo) and one low prevalence state (Lagos) – to establishment baseline data and development of implementation strategy that is evidence-based
  • Findings highlight the need for sustained community based intervention including targeted community mobilization, dialogues and engagement with different social networks at community level.
  • Draft state and national report being developed
Bottlenecks to  FGM Abandonment
  • Gradual/slow pace in achieving social norm change
  • Denial of the practice in some high prevalence communities
  • Illiteracy
  • Myths around FGM/C
  • Economic benefits for circumcisers and loss of livelihood following abandonment of the practice
  • Limited resources
Priority interventions and milestones
  • Finalisation/validation of assessment report and dissemination of findings/implementation strategy
  • Development of action plan and communication Strategy on FGM/C abandonment in Nigeria
  • Sustained advocacy for the development of measures to accelerate the  enforcement of existing legislative framework FGM/C laws in focus states
  • Strengthen and Support interventions at community level and reporting in focus states, LGAs and Communities
  • Develop  and undertake media based campaign FGM/C through the development and airing of  documentaries, television and radio jingles, radio drama skits against FGM/C
  • Conduct community-based educational activities with specific social groups and indigenous networks in state and communities
  • Design and implement community based campaign for the abandonment of FGM/C using alternative media methodologies – community drama, traditional communicators, community engagement ,etc.
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