The United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) says it is fighting to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Benue.
Mrs Victoria Egwor-Daaor, the state Programme Analyst of UNFPA, said this on Thursday in Makurdi at an event to mark the 2018 International Day of the Girl child.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event to commemorate the day was organised by the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, a pet project of the wife of the Governor of Benue, Mrs Eunice Ortom.
Its theme was: “Empower Girls: Before, During and After conflicts’’.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says FGM 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.
According to Egwor-Daaor, some Civil Society Organisations, Non Governmental Organisations and the State Government raised concerns on FGM practices in some Local Government Areas in Benue, especially Obi and Oju
She said: ”UNFPA came in partnership with the state government and they ensured the people in these areas stopped the harmful practice.
“They were enlightened and educated on the dangers of FGM,
“Health care facilities were established for the people to access medical care,
”Community Health Workers were trained to ensure women and the girl- child were not exposed to such dangers as FGM, and inequality,’’ she said.
FGM is a cultural practice rooted in attempts to control women’s sexuality under the guise of ensuring purity and modesty in women, which activists describe as the worst form of gender inequality.
According to her, FGM must be forbidden because there is no health benefit rather, a lot of problems are associated with it.
“It is only governments, other supportive groups and donors that can help to achieve zero tolerance in FMG practice.
“This should be by implementing and enforcing laws against such practice, just as it has been achieved in Benue,” she said.
She advised other unknown communities indulging in such practice to desist from it to restore dignity to humanity and to avail women opportunity to actualise the gain of womanhood.
Earlier, Mrs Eunice Ortom, wife of the Governor of Benue, said that issues of women, girls and the youth are prioritised in the state by the Gov. Ortom-led administration.
According to her, the various IDPs in Benue had established schools and entrepreneurial centres to ensure the hope of the Benue youth and women was not lost after the crises that left many displaced.