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Nigeria contributes 1/3 of Global FGM cases – Award winner

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Nigeria has been identified as one of the countries that contribute about one third of global Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) cases.

Mr Dirug Samuel, the Founder of Big Family 360 and winner of UNFPA FGM Hacklab Award, said this in
an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.

Our correspondent reports that FGM is a practice, traditional in some cultures, of partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for non-medical reasons. It is illegal in many countries.

Samuel, who described FGM as one of the greatest causes of infection to women, said that it had no capacity to
prevent promiscuity.

He explained that “promiscuity is about the personality and not FGM; FGM does not prevent promiscuity, instead,
it causes infections”.

The award winner urged Nigerians to collectively work toward ending the practice, noted that it was injurious
to the wellbeing of woman.

He said FGM was a negation of bodily autonomy for the girl and human right.

The award winner, however, expressed joy over the gradual denouncement of the menace, stressing that it was achieved through concerted government efforts and that of Non Government actors, especially the UN Population
Fund (UNFPA).

According to him, progress is being made gradually in ending FGM even with some challenges.

He expressed optimism that the menace would be a thing of the past in the country with more advocacy and awareness.

Samuel is the only Nigerian winner of a recent FGM Innovation Hacklab co-sponsored by UNFPA through the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Program (SIARP)
in September 2021.

He worked with the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) sub-sector under the humanitarian programme, where he developed a monitoring tool to support referrals for GBV survivors.

Ikenna Osuoha

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