Fix Laws Around Female Genital Mutilation - Foreign Activists Tell Nigeria
According to recent statistics, one in three Nigerian women have undergone genital mutilation.
This is despite a federal law introduced in 2015 banning the internationally condemned practice.
The law currently only applies in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja but only 13 out of the 36 states have also outlawed FGM with penalties ranging from modest fines to five years’ imprisonment.
The rest of the States still need to pass the law as well in order for it to become effective across the country.
That is why some activists are asking the federal government to sort out a “messy patchwork” of laws and beef up efforts to protect girls.
“It’s shocking to see that so many states still don’t have laws. This is something Nigeria needs to sort out if it’s serious about ending FGM,” Ann-Marie Wilson, executive director of 28 Too Many, a campaign Group told Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Researchers said enforcement of the law was generally weak and found no evidence of any FGM prosecutions even though some states banned the practice more than 15 years ago.
The maximum penalty under the federal law is four years or a fine of 200,000 naira ($654).
Nigeria accounts for a tenth of the estimated 200 million girls and women globally affected by FGM, which usually involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia.
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