By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said men have the potential to act as agents of change in curbing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practised in some African countries.
UNICEF, in a statement on Monday, said, however, men must make their voices heard and advocate for the abandonment of the practice.
The statement was signed by Ms Claudia Cappa, UNICEF, Senior Adviser, Statistics and Monitoring, Data and Analytics Section, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring, and Nankali Maksud, Senior Adviser, Prevention of Harmful Practices, Child Protection Section, Programme Group, UNICEF.
The state was in commemoration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation marked annually on Februay 6
It released a data-driven publication, “Engaging Boys and Men to End Female Genital Mutilation.”
It said: “Among the key findings of the publication, in most countries, men are at least as likely as women to oppose female genital mutilation.
“In total, of the 300 million boys and men living in the practising countries in Africa and the Middle East, 200 million think female genital mutilation should stop.
“Parental attitudes are especially important to halt the transmission of the practice into the next generation.
“Most parents share similar opinions about whether female genital mutilation should continue, but about three in 10 disagree.
“In cases of disagreement, mothers’ opinions are more influential: large proportions of girls are cut despite having fathers who oppose female genital mutilation,” the statement said.