UNICEF seeks media collaboration to end FGM
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) chief in Enugu Office, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, is seeking collaboration of the media in the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM).
Dr. Conteh made the call yesterday during the sub zonal media briefing in commemoration of the International Day of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.
He hinted that two states in the zone, Ebonyi and Imo, still have the highest prevalence rate of FGM.
The media briefing organised by FGN/UNICEF Programme of Co-operation (2018-2022) in collaboration with Broadcasting Corporation of Abia (BCA) was geared at pleading with the media to help in the fight.
Conteh noted that though there had been recorded successes in curtailing the menace in both states through their programmes, more efforts should be made to end it, beckoning on the media to step up their campaign by increasing the awareness on FGM.
Confirming that there had been the political will by the government to end the practice, he insisted that it would come to naught if the will was not translated into action.
According to him, most states have passed FGM into law, but till now no one has been prosecuted for practicing it. He pleaded with both individuals and government at all levels to join UNICEF in eradicating FGM.
The UN chief noted that the practice remains a social norm fuelled by myths, pre-conceptions and diverse ignorance about social expectations, adding that “FGM is a violation of a woman’s reproduction rights, puts her life at risk and is harmful to not only to her but also to her unborn child.
“As you may be aware, FGM is one of the most harmful prevailing practices known to the human race since the end of the era of human sacrifice, killing of twins and slavery. The harmful practice has endured generations, tolerated and in certain ways promoted due to multiple factors of pre-conceptions and pluralistic ignorance.”
Communication Officer of UNICEF Enugu office, Mrs. Ijeoma Onuoha, said that the objective of the programme was to create public awareness on FGM, with the media as the driving force.
She added, “The programme is an avenue for all stakeholders to come together, especially those from the media, to deliberate on issues affecting the awareness on FGM, provide solutions and assist girls both physically and mentally.
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