The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ Bayelsa State Chapter is partnering with the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, CAGEM to fight against Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM).
The partnership, according to the chairman of the association, Mrs. Timinepere Idoko is to protect the right of women and girls in the country and the international community.
Although, there is no Federal Law on Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria, but advocates believe that the practice presently contravenes section 34(1)(a) of the 1999 constitution which states that “No person shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
According to sources, Nigeria is one of the five countries that sponsored the resolution of the 46 World Health Assembly calling for the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation in all nations as the practice is still rampant in the country.
Although, some states in the world reportedly enacted FGM laws, but implementation of these laws has been a huge challenge.
Sources listed the states as Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Edo, Cross Rivers and Rivers.
Following the challenges, CGEM is expanding its campaign to Nigeria to ensure a total Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation.
Part of the strategies to achieve the mission is to expand the current Fistula Clinic in Port Harcourt and free treatment for victims of FGM.
The Director of CAGEM, Abere Ikiriko, explained the main purpose of the hospital was to provide free clitoral reconstructive surgery, a new procedure for which the organisation is training surgeons in California with the help of clitoral.
Although currently the surgeries are performed in US and France, but transporting patients to these location is a limiting factor.
CAGEM is therefore joining forces with key partners in Nigeria to implement its progress particularly Safehaven International for outreach and managing the CAGEM safehouse for rescued girls and keeping its real foundation for providing education for these girls.
Bayelsa NAWOJ in collaboration with CAGEM has commended women for standing united against this fight, describing the recent 56th session of the UN commission on the status of women last month as a welcome development.
The session has renewed the spirit for the fight against FGM as women from all over the world dicussed the current status of the practice joining in an effort to strengthen the fight against Female Genital Mutilation.