Parents in Imo, Ebonyi and Oyo states are putting behind them the scourge of Female Genital Mutilation (FMG). 

The development was acknowledged by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday.

It said that the prevalence of FGM has decreased in the three states. 

The Head of Office, UNFPA Sub-Office, Calabar, Mr Kenneth Ehouzou, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar.

Ehouzou said the considerable progress in the fight against female genital mutilation in women between the ages of 15 and 49 from 2011 to 2017 in the states they were working showed that the prevalence decreased from 34 to 22% in Imo, 32.9 to 29.6% in Oyo and from 6.4 to 5.2% in Ebonyi.

He said the decrease was due to intensive advocacy, follow up and constant information in the media by different organisations.

According to him, the greatest achievement of UNFPA was the passage of Nigeria’s comprehensive Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAP) Act which had been domesticated in 14 states, while advocating for its domestication in the remaining states.

“We have experienced considerable progress in the fight against female genital mutilation, there is a decrease in its prevalence in the states where we are working.

“We have to be very grateful to our champions like the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, governors, wives of governors and other high level personalities, who have openly declared their positions against female genital mutilation,” he said.

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According to the UNFPA boss, though, progress were being made in the fight to eliminate female genital mutilation, the major challenges Agency is facing was reaching more political actors and creating more awareness on its prevalence.

He also noted that the problem of accessibility was a big challenge as most of the communities that still practice female genital mutilation were in very remote and hard to reach areas nationwide.

“We know that female genital mutilation is culture related and is passed down from generation to generation, but illiteracy and lack of information is what fuels it because once the women understand that it has no health benefit but complications, their perceptions start to change," he added. 

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