FGM Monthly Article – November 2021

December 3, 2021

Ekiti Empowers 180 Female Genital Circumcisers with N42.5m

This Day
By Victor Ogunje

As part of the ways to keep female children safe and sound, the Government of Ekiti State (Nigeria), has empowered 180 repentant practitioners of female circumcision with N42.5 million, which was targeted at discouraging Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the state.

The beneficiaries of the grants publicly handed over their trade tools to the First Lady, Ekiti State, at the ‘Drop the Blade Initiative,’ which took place in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday.

Addressing the beneficiaries on Saturday, the first lady said that the grant was to discourage the former practitioners from returning to the harmful practice having denounced the trade.

She reiterated the state government’s zero tolerance for gender-based violence and female genital mutilation. She said the government would not hesitate to clamp down on people who still practiced the trade that is seen as violence against girls.

She said a minimum N250,000 grant given each of the former practitioners was a start-up capital for them to start a profitable business venture that would not be harmful to the society.

The first lady charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the money.

She said: “This would be the second time government would empower former female circumcision practitioners in the state as part of efforts to discourage the dastardly act.

“We are empowering these women today to take them away from the illegal business. If what they were gaining from female circumcision was why they could not let go of the job, we are ready to empower them.”

Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Ms. Maryam Ogunlade, reaffirmed the Government’s zero-tolerance for female genital mutilation and called for stakeholder’s involvement in stamping it out in all communities across the state.

Ogunlade reminded the people of an existing law banning female circumcision in Ekiti State, adding that anyone caught would face legal action.

Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Human Services, Mr Akinjide Akinleye, expressed displeasure that Ekiti State has the highest prevalence of FGM in southern Nigeria.

Akinyele urged the people to complement the synergy of the first lady’s office to eradicate FGM practice in the state by not going back to the renounced unlawful act.

Also, the Director-General of Ekiti State Micro Finance and Enterprise Development Agency, Mr. Kayode Fasae, advised the beneficiaries against frivolous spending but to engage in self-reliant businesses.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Funmilayo Adedeji, who spoke on behalf of others, thanked the government for putting up such an initiative to assist them.

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