By Haruna Gimba
The Imo State House of Assembly has enacted a law which now prohibits female circumcision in parts of the state.
The law which has since come into effect prescribes 14 years imprisonment, a fine of N250, 000 or both for defaulters.
The programme manager of the Women of Divine Destiny Initiative (WODDI), a pet project of Mrs. Nkechi Rochas Okorocha, Maxwell Ahunanya disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri.
Ahunanya who dismissed FGM/C as a violation of the rights of women and girls explained that the ugly cultural practice causes infections, difficulty in child delivery and new born deaths, stressing that the barbaric primitive practice still ravaging most communities in the state has no health benefit to women.
The WODDI Programme manager spoke when the organisation, in collaboration with the Imo Planning Economic Commission celebrated 16 days activism against gender based violence (GBV) in Owerri which was supported by the UNFPA.
Leading a cross section of the womenfolk in the state who undertook a road walk in some parts of the Owerri capital city to denounce domestic violence against women, FGM/C, Ahunanya argued that FGM/C is not supported by any religion and is condemned by many religious leaders. “No religious text supports cutting FGM/C. The bible only talks about male circumcision” he stated.
He enumerated the health problems associated with FGM/C to include: possible short and long term health problems which according to him, depends on the degree of the cutting, the cleanliness of the tools used to perform the cutting and the health of the girl or woman receiving the cutting. While the short term health problems causes severe pains, bleeding, shock, injury to adjacent tissues (fractures, dislocations) and acute retention of urine among others.
Ahunanya said that the long term aspect entails painful or blocked menses, recurrent urinary trait infections, abscesses and ice old scars, infertility, difficulty in urinating as well as inability to have sex normally.
Adding his voice, the program officer of community and youth Initiative Owerri, Ugochukwu Anozie recalled that FGM/C was primitive, crude and erroneous initiative put in place by men of the past to stem sexual promiscuity among girls.