Main Article Content
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a dehumanizing cultural practice, depriving women of sexual satisfaction and freedom; and the right to decide what happens to their body qualifying it a public health issue globally. The aim of this article is to examine the practice of female genital mutilation in Nigeria through review of empirical studies related to the meaning, types, prevalence, justifications for FGM, complication and elimination of FGM in Nigeria and globally. Articles related to FGM were reviewed. Nigeria has a 25% prevalence rate among women of childbearing age (15 – 45), accounting for one-quarter of the estimated 200 million globally. Its prevalence among geopolitical zones and states varies with types in Osun state (77%), Ebonyi (74%), Ekiti (72%), Imo (68%), Lagos (45%), Kaduna (34%), Kano (13%) and Katsina (0.1%). Types I and II are practiced in the south–south while types III and IV are practiced in the Northern zone. Justification for the practice of FGM include hygiene and aesthetics, initiation into womanhood, acceptability for marriage, control of female sexuality, increased sexual satisfaction for men, and culture. World conferences and summits have been held in the past which re-affirm human rights and call upon governments to strive for their full respect, protection and fulfilment. However, it still persists to some degree in some communities as implementation of laws still pose problems. The royal fathers, chiefs, elders in the communities as custodians of the culture and tradition of the people should be educated on the complications of the practice and its implication on the right of women and girls. Aggressive health education campaigns should be carried out through various media houses and social media such as twitter, facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. All hands should be on deck to keep pushing for a total ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
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