Female genital mutilation in Nigeria accounts for the most female genital mutilation (FGM) cases worldwide. Imo State is among the six states in Nigeria where there is prevalence of this practice.
From June 30 to July 1, 2017, a non-governmental organization, Devatop Centre for Africa Development with support from The Girl Generation trained over 115 health workers, teachers, youth leaders, community leaders, National Youth Service Corps members, and religious leaders from six Local Government Areas in Okigwe Zone, Imo State.
According to the organization’s Executive Director, Joseph Osuigwe, “The training which held at Ehime Mbano Council Headquarter was meant to raise advocates who will be at the forefront of ending female genital mutilation in more than 60 communities within six local government councils in Okigwe Zone”. He stated that the trained advocates were given small/sub-grant and awareness materials to carry out community projects such as: workshop/seminar, market awareness, talk show, community outreach, one-on-one sensitization, town hall meetings, market awareness, and school outreaches.
They are expected to promote societal dialogue and the empowerment of communities to act collectively to end the practice of FGM. Through the training and projects by advocates, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth, grassroots networks and those who have suffered from FGM will start speaking out and be at the forefront of eliminating this human rights abuse. More people will be actively involved in fostering actions against FGM. Each of the advocate is expected to sensitize 100 community members on the dangers of female genital mutilation before September 2017.
The participants who are now referred as End FGM Advocates were trained by Benjamin Mbakwem (UNICEF Consultant), Dr. Abba Emma (Director of National Orientation Agency, Ebonyi State) and Joseph Osuigwe (Executive Director of Devatop).
The graduation ceremony of the advocates was attended by legislators, traditional rulers and community president generals.
Speaking during the graduation of the trainees, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu (represented by Dr. Uche Diala) assured participants of his commitment to join hands to end the practice in Okigwe Zone. He promised to stimulate actions among stakeholders and policy makers towards ending female genital mutilation.
Also, a representative of traditional ruler of Onuimo council area, Chief B. O Alaneme promised to engage other traditional rulers and president-generals from various communities to join the campaign to end the practice.
Devatop Centre for Africa Development is a youth-driven human rights nonprofit organisation. It has carried out projects on ending female genital mutilation in more than seven council areas in Federal Capital Territory and Imo State.
To contact the organisation,