The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for increased investment and collective efforts among global stakeholders to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals target of eliminating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2030.
Obaseki made the call in commemoration of this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, with the theme, “Ending Female Genital Mutilation by 2030.”
According to him, “This year’s International Day for Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation presents another opportunity to realign efforts, step up collaboration and take decisive actions to put an end to this harmful traditional practice that violates the rights and dignity of women and girls.”
“While we acknowledge the success recorded at totally eliminating this heinous, harmful, and inhumane practice, we must not rest our oars if we are committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals target of eliminating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2030.
“There is an urgent need for increased investment and global action to totally end the scourge through improved education and awareness on the dangers and consequences of this harmful tradition. It is imperative that we work together to protect the health and well-being of our women and girls and to promote their rights and dignity.”
He stated, “In Edo State, we take a strong stance against Female Genital Mutilation and are committed to working towards its eradication. We are working closely with traditional rulers, community organizations, and religious leaders, among others to improve public education campaigns and raise awareness. The state is implementing laws and policies that prohibit FGM and provide penalties for those who perform the procedure and are training healthcare providers to identify and respond to cases of FGM.
“The government is also working assiduously with its partners to ensure that women and girls who have undergone FGM have access to comprehensive healthcare services, including post-FGM care, psychological support, and access to safe birth options, and are providing economic opportunities and alternative livelihoods for women and girls, to reduce the economic incentives for FGM. This can include job training and entrepreneurship programmes, and educational opportunities, among others.”
“As a government, we are committed to ensuring a progressive and prosperous Edo State where every woman and girl can live free from the fear of Female Genital Mutilation and other gender-based violations and can fulfill their full potential,” Obaseki added.