Emohua community elders promise to abolish female genital mutilation

Tina Stephen

The people of Egbeda/Ubimini and Rumuekpe communities in Emuoha local government area of the Rivers state have agreed to abolish female genital mutilation a common traditional practice amongst people of the area.

Custodians of the tradition the Nye Nwe Alis and the Ohna in council of these communities accepted to stop the practice when the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) took an awareness campaign to sensitize them on the danger associated with female circumcision and also to mark the 2019 World Female Genital Mutilation Day, with the theme: “Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation”

According to them, the tradition does not permit a woman who was not circumcised to be buried in the land, but rather she will be thrown in the bush without a befitting burial rite.

They also said that female circumcision in their area has lots of ceremonial benefits as women will gather to eat, drink and distribute gifts to the mother of the female who is being circumcised.

Some of the chiefs in council and some women who spoke to our reporter Tina Amanda thanked FIDA for creating such an awareness while promising that they will ensure the practice stops.

On her part, Chairperson International Federation of Women Lawyers Rivers Branch, Antonia Osademe, said it is an offence to practice female genital mutilation under the Rivers State Abolition of female Circumcision law 2001, adding that such harmful traditional practice attracts a five years imprisonment to any offender.

She said further that female circumcision affects women negatively in health wise and also in fulfilling their marital obligations of satisfying their partners sexually.