Mr Oliver Osi, the lawmaker representing Ivo State Constituency in Ebonyi House of Assembly has called for stakeholders’ collaboration to check the spate of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Ebonyi.
Osi, who spoke on Monday in Abakaliki, described the FGM as man’s inhumanity to man, that required urgent attention and continuous advocacies, especially at the rural areas.
The lawmaker who is the House Committee Chairman on Health, made the remark during a one-day training workshop for media practitioners on gender-based violence, sexual reproductive health rights and advocacy.
The workshop was organised by the Coalition of Eastern Non-Governmental Organisations (CENGOS) in partnership with Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) with the support of Amplite Change (AC).
Osi who condemned the age-long practice in the state called on traditional rulers, parents and rural dwellers to resist and desist from the practice as there was no emotional or physiological benefit in such practice.
“This practice is obnoxious and barbaric; it is man’s inhumanity to man. This is the custom that we inherited but I am sure if our forefathers come out from the grave, they will be surprised that FGM is still in practice,” Osi said.
In a paper presentation entitled: “Overview of Reproductive Health, Women Sexual and Reproductive Rights,” Dr Joseph Agboeze described reproductive health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing.
Agboeze, a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, noted that reproductive health is not merely the absence of disease or disorder of the reproductive process.
He listed the traditional harmful practices to include female genital mutilation and cuttings, early marriage, widowhood rites and widow’s right infringement and female disinheritance.
He added that Ebonyi has the highest percentage of women circumcision in the South-East zone of the country.
Earlier, the State Coordinator of CENGOS, Mrs Nancy Oko-Onya, who spoke, stressed the need for the rights of women to be protected.
She added that violence against women should not be swept under the carpet but publicised in order to checkmate its frequent occurrence.
She called on journalists to be proactive in reporting gender-related violence to curb the occurrence, as well as help, bring justice for victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV).
“As journalists you have important role to play in curbing gender-based violence in the state and I enjoin you to remain steadfast in prompt reportage of violence against women,” She said.
No fewer than 25 journalists drawn from various media houses attended the workshop.