Wellbeing Foundation Africa Calls For Ending Female Genital Mutilation; Commends UNFPA, Development Partners
On the 9th of February 2016, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) participated in the launch of the Global Joint UNFPA/UNICEF programme on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Nigeria and called for zero tolerance for FGM and other harmful traditional practices. Under the leadership of H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa continues to create awareness of FGM/C, while addressing issues concerning the practice through its #MaternalMonday social media campaign.
The practice of FGM, defined by the World Health Organization as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons,” affects approximately 200 million girls and women around the world .
While FGM/C can cause infertility, maternal death, infection, and post-traumatic stress disorder, FGM/C procedures are increasingly carried out by health personnel – presenting one of the biggest threats to its elimination. Addressing this in a recent Huffington Post article, Mrs. Saraki called for community sensitisation and mobilisation against FGM and increased empowerment of adolescent girls.
“As a women's health issue, we must also mobilise midwives as part of community responses to FGM and other harmful traditional practices,” Mrs. Saraki further stated. Committed to promoting the abandonment of FGM, UNFPA, working with UNICEF, is leading the largest global programme - spanning across 17 African countries, to accelerate the elimination of the practice.
Speaking at the Nigeria launch, H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki, said, “Not unusual among the harmful traditional practices (HTPs) wrought on women, FGM/C is most often visited upon daughters, sisters, nieces, girls and women, by other women in positions of trust, mothers, sisters, aunts. We must unite to enlighten women to stop inflicting this suffering upon the young ones in their care, and stop FGM/C in this generation.”
Organized by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, in collaboration with UNFPA and The Guardian UK, the launch aimed to accelerate action for the abandonment of FGM/C in Nigeria. Taking place at the State House Banquet Hall in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the event recognized Her Excellency, Mrs. Aisha Muhamadu Buhari, the Wife of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the special guest of honour and also featured the Efua Dorkenoo Pan Africa Media award on FGM/C reportage in Nigeria.
Mrs. Saraki, the Wife of Senate President, who also serves as global ambassador for midwives worldwide, additionally called upon all to unite to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill in the 36 states of the federation, while hoping that nurses and midwives will be engaged in the struggle to identify and provide counselling and treatment to victims of FGM/C.
Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Saraki, Founder- President Wellbeing Foundation Africa at the Launch of the UNFPA/UNICEF Programme on FGM/C (Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting) in Nigeria
L to R: Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Saraki, Founder – President with Her Excellency Mrs Dolapo Osinbanjo at the Launch of the UNFPA/UNICEF Programme on FGM/C (Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting) in Nigeria
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa
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