Survivors of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi State have called on government agencies and NGOs to ensure that the laws already available against perpetrators of FGM/C are implemented.
They asked that penalties prescribed for those who undertake genital mutilation and the collaborators should be made to be relatively stiff for that to be able to serve as a deterrent to others.
The survivors, women and girls, randomly drawn from Abakaliki Council Area spoke to our Correspondent who was on facts finding on the situation as it concerns FGM/C in the Local Government Area.
One of the respondents, Mrs. Agnes Nweke said that though UNICEF and NOA had organized a series of workshops and talks for them and their traditional rulers, the laws put in place by the State House of Assembly against those behind the FGM/C were not effectively being implemented.
She explained that a number of women had adopted various measures of mutilating their baby girls, undercover, inside their rooms; thereby avoiding being caught in the act.
Nweke said that some others use warm water, and Vaseline jelly to mutilate their girls.
Another survivor; a JSS 1 student who merely gave her name as Joan said, she was forcefully cut at the age of 10 but that she had to invite their Village Head to stop her mother from cutting her younger sister because she was convinced of the dangers associated with the mutilation after she participated in a workshop in Abakaliki.An FGM Champion in the Nkaliki community, Mrs. Helen Uwa said the Abakaliki Urban communities, more than those in the far-to-reach areas where their belief and traditional commitment to FGM/C is relatively lower. (Independent)