The Edo State Government has warned residents who still engage in Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the state to desist, saying perpetrators risk four-year jail term.
The Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Maria Omozele Edeko, gave the warning over the weekend in Benin, during the International Day for Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation.
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She said Section 11 of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law prohibited FGM and prescribed a four-year jail term for perpetrators.
The VAPP law, enacted in 2021, seeks to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibiting all forms of violence against persons and providing maximum protection and effective remedies for victims, as well as punishing offenders of gender-based violence.
The commissioner said, “As a ministry and a state, we are going to the grassroots; we are going to the communities where the acts of FGM are endemic to educate them about the provisions of the law and the dangers that FGM poses to the girl child.”
She said government would strengthen collaborations with stakeholders to ensure that it got to rural areas with the advocacy to end the practice.
She further said, “It is high time we stopped FGM. It attracts a jail term of four years for any person or a family member that abets, assists or incites anyone that encourages the practice.”