By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi

The wife of Ebonyi State Governor Chief, Mrs Mary-maudline Uzoamaka Nwifuru, has stated that her foundation, Better Health for Rural Women children and Internally Displaced, BERWO, will work with a comprehensive approach towards eradicating deadly practice of female genital mutilation in the state.

According to her, the comprehensive approach for eradicating FGM involved education, advocacy, and legislative measures.

Mrs Nwifuru stated this on Tuesday, in Abakaliki, during the commemoration of the 2024 International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, with the theme “Her Voice, Her Future’’, organised by Better Health for Rural Women, Children, and the Internally Displaced (BERWO), in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA.

The Gov’s wife who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Felicia Nwankpuma, called on religious leaders, civil society organisations, women groups, and other relevant bodies to show commitment in the fight against female genital mutilation and cutting.

Her words: “Female genital mutilation comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

“This practice has been proven to have no benefit for girls and women, causing lifelong problems for those who survive.

“Today, we stand united in our refusal to tolerate this violation of the rights and dignity of women and girls in Ebonyi State.

“FGM inflicts both immediate and long-term physical and psychological harm. It robs girls of their right to health, well-being, and bodily integrity. It perpetuates gender inequality and contributes to a cycle of discrimination and violence against women.

“My foundation, Better Health for Rural Women, Children, and Internally Displaced Persons (BERWO), is ready to eliminate FGM.

We must work hand in hand with communities where the practice persists and foster an environment where the rights and well-being of girls are prioritised.

“While awareness and community engagement are vital, legal and policy measures play a significant role. The Government of Ebonyi State, the Nigerian First Lady’s forum with UNICEF, is working collaboratively to enact and enforce laws that criminalise FGM, ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable.

“On this day, we also extend our support to survivors of FGM. These individuals have faced unimaginable challenges, yet their resilience is a testament to the human spirit.

“The BERWO Foundation provides support services, including healthcare, counselling, and legal assistance. We are readily available to those who have undergone or are at risk of Fgm. She stated.


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