BreakingNews 6/2/16 - Nigeria First Lady launches anti-genital mutilation campaign next week

[ Masterweb Reports: Judd-Leonard Okafor reports ] - Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, is to launch a report next week detailing the prevalence of female genital mutilation in Nigeria as part of a zero-tolerance campaign against the practice.

Preliminary findings by the report show female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM) are most prevalent in the six states of Imo, Ebonyi, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Lagos.


The survey by United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNFPA) found southwest region had the highest prevalence, nearly double the national average between 2003 and 2013, according to data from the National Demographic Health Survey.


The prevalence of FGM is lowest in the northeast but has been increasing within the same period, and even faster in the south east region.


The report to be launched by Mrs Buhari follows a programme to abandon FGM, which began in the six priority states since 2014, to help girls like Cecila Ogore, who was forced to submit to female genital mutilation at age 18 to guarantee her family's social status in her community.


FGM is still commonly done on grounds of protecting a girl's chastity, marriageability or a rite of passage into womanhood, but Ogore wasn't given any reason when she underwent FGM in 2012.


"No one told me about it. It was on the day it was to be done that I knew about it," she told Daily Trust. " My mum pleaded with me. I didn't want to deny her what was rightfully hers."


She and over a dozen other survivors will give testimonies of having endured the pain of FGM on Tuesday as Buhari launches the report to strengthen the anti-FGM campaign.


Ogore, who's been involved in the campaign to turn girls and women against FGM, said, "It is something I went through, and I don't want young girls out there to go through it."


*Photo Caption - Nigeria First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari

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