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Support fight against female genital mutilation, WAPA urges men



The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) on Tuesday urged all male residents in the state to support the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Mrs Oluyemi Kalesanwo, the Permanent Secretary of WAPA, who made the call at a Sensitisation and Advocacy Campaign organised by WAPA, also sought their support against early and child marriage.

The programme against FGM and child marriage was organised at the Alaba – Rago and Alaworo Markets in Ojo Local Government Area.

Kalesanwo, represented by the Director, Domestic Violence Unit; Ms. Olorunfemi Toyin, urged residents to embrace change to curb the rising trends threatening the wellbeing and future of girls in the communities.

She said: “Your communities are vibrant settlements where significant impact can be made on these issues that are deeply rooted in harmful traditions, cultural beliefs and social norms which we want a total stop to.

“These harmful practice robs young girls of their childhood, education and opportunities that create a cycle of poverty, illiteracy and diseases.

“We cannot allow our girls born and groomed in Lagos State to be forced into early marriage under 18 years and do not have a place in the TH.E.M.E.S agenda of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu which focuses on gender equality and social inclusion.

“Sad to say, a good number of such victims are disturbed from fulfilling their potentials as contributors to meaningful economic growth and were also inflicted with psychological and physical pains.”

The Permanent Secretary said that a legal framework had been provided to punish perpetrators of such act in the state.

Also, Alhaja Shukurat Jimoh, the woman leader (Iyaoloja) of the market, said more effort should be made `to free young girls from the shackles of harmful practices’.

“I want to emphasize that for the nation to blossom, we must empower our women even as we bring perpetrators on rape incidences to book.

“A good number of them are often released by law enforcement agents, whenever they are culpable. Let these offenders be jailed and paraded for all to see.

“Then, these evil acts will be adequately be eliminated as societal ills which must stop in Lagos State,” she said.

Also, Mr Oyetunji Rasaki, the Baba Oloja of Alaba-Rago market, urged parents to support their children and wards with knowledge and skills to enhance uplifting values for the wellbeing of the girl child.

Kemi Akintokun

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