By Isaac Olamikan
Edo State Government has intensified the campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in rural communities in the state, urging residents to desist from the heinous act so as not to run afoul of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law.
Speaking at an event to mark the 2022 International Day for Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation, Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon. Maria Omozele Edeko, said Section 11 of the VAPP law 2021prohibits female genital mutilation and prescribes a four-year jail term for perpetrators of FGM in the state.
The VAPP law was signed in 2021 by Governor Godwin Obaseki to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibiting all forms of violence against persons and providing maximum protection and effective remedies for victims, as well as punishing offenders of gender-based violence.
According to Edeko, “As a ministry and a state, we are going to the grassroots; we are going to the communities where the act of female genital mutilation is endemic to educate them about the provisions of the law and the dangers that female genital mutilation poses to the girl-child.”
She said the state government will strengthen collaborations with stakeholders to ensure it gets to more rural areas with the advocacy to end the practice.
“It is high time we stopped female genital mutilation. It attracts a jail term of four years for any person or a family member that abets, assists, or incites anyone that encourages the practice,” the Commissioner added.