The House of Representatives has expressed worries that about 20 million girls and women in Nigeria and 20% of Nigerian women aged between 15 to 49 years are reported to have undergone female genital mutilation in Nigeria.
The House of representatives therefore, urged the Minister of Women Affairs and the National Orientation Agency to organize nation-wide sensitization programmes discouraging the practice of female genital mutilation and asked them to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Female Genital Mutilation with the theme; Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
The call followed a motion entitled:”Need to Eradicate the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria” raised during plenary on Thursday by Hon. Ganiyu Johnson, member representing Oshodi/Isolo 2 Federal Constituency Lagos.
Raising the motion, Hon. Johnson explained that female genital mutilation is an act of violence against women and girls and amounts to a violation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, 2015.
He worried that the dangers which the unwholesome practice portends for the health and wellbeing of women and girls, ranges from urinary tract infections, infertility, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.
According to him, the motion was designed to create global awareness on the dangers of female genital mutilation and drum support for the protection of the physical and mental health of women and girls.
The lawmaker, further explained that female genital mutilation comprises of all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and it is recognized internationally as a violation of the rights and health of women and girls.
The House without debate adopted the motion through a vote called by the presiding officer of the day, Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris.
According to United Nations Report published in 2020, Nigeria ranked the third-highest number in cases of female genital mutilation in the world.
In 2003, the United Nations while observing the need to eradicate the practice of female genital mutilation, declared February 6 annually as an International Day for the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation.