Nigeria has the third highest number of women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation worldwide with an estimated 19.9m survivors and state prevalence ranging from 62 percent in Imo to less than one percent in Adamawa and Gombe.
The officer in charge of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Enugu Field Office, Mrs Maureen Zubie-Okolo, disclosed this in Enugu Sunday.
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She spoke at a media dialogue organised by the UNICEF in collaboration with the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia, to mark this year’s 2022 International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation themed ‘Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation’.
She noted that over four million girls were at risk of genital mutilation even as COVID-19 disruptions could add another two million cases by year 2030.
Zubie-Okolo, represented by UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist, Enugu Field Office, Mr Victor Atuchukwu, said: “The prevalence of FGM is highest in the South-East at 35 per cent and South-West (30 per cent), a situation which prompted UNICEF to initiate a community-led movement to eliminate FGM in highly prevalent states of Imo, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo.
“This Day reminds us that we need to accelerate efforts, especially with families and communities, to achieve a safe Nigeria for girls and women who are robbed of their childhoods, health and aspirations by harmful practices such as FGM”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that February 6 was set aside by the United Nations to amplify and direct efforts on the elimination of female genital mutilation. (NAN)