International Day Of Zero Tolerance To FGM: KOKO Says No To Female Genital Mutilation

The 6th day in February is the day assigned by the United Nations to create awareness and to stand firm on their stance against genital mutilations. Today is the day we all reinforce our resolution on zero tolerance to female genital mutilations. Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves all the methods used to alter the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. This action which is a totally unaccepted form of discrimination against women is practiced primarily in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The barbaric act is not only limited to Africa but also some countries in Asia, Latin America, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. But why? There are various myths swirling around FGM used to justify the procedure. Notable of which is the fact that FGM helps to curb women sexual desires, which in turn helps to keep them pure before marriage. Others include that the procedure is medically correct and needs to be done to help promote the female’s health, fertility or the procedure is the same as male circumcision or that it is a religious act, therefore should be done. All these, however, has been negated over time as studies have shown that women are still capable of enjoying sex even after the mutilations, and the act is in no way beneficial to the health of a woman. As of 2012, Nigeria due to the country’s large population occupy the highest number of female genital mutilation in the world. This accounts for about one-quarter of the estimated 115–130 million circumcised women in the world. This shocking act in the country is perpetrated against women within the age range of 15-49 and traditionally the act is performed from the ages of 0-15. This action most times are being practiced using unsafe sharp objects to cut off the female external genitalia. It can be done using four procedures, which includes: clitoridectomy which is the partial or complete removal of the clitoris, Excision, which is any cutting and removal of the clitoris and labia, Infibulation which is the creation of a seal to narrow the vaginal opening by cutting and stitching the labia and lastly, all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, this includes pricking, scraping, cauterizing. This action has gone on to cause urinary and vaginal problems, scar tissue and keloid, sexual problems (including pain during sex), increased risk of childbirth complications, and psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and low self-esteem for the circumcised women. It is for this reason and for the fact that it is an outright violation of women rights, and extreme gender discrimination that KOKO says NO to Female Genitalia Mutilation. Photo Credit: KOKO TV



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