*Says Genital Mutilation Has No Health Benefits
A Principal Medical officer of the General Hospital, Ijede, Dr. Omolola Olasubomi James, has declared that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a procedure which involves partial or the total removal of the female genital or external sex organs such as the clitoris, minor and major labia, is devoid of any health benefits to the female gender.
She spoke during an interview with journalists as part of activities to mark the year 2022 World Genital Mutilation Day.
Dr. James maintained that the practice of FGM involves the removal of genital tissues and it interferes with the natural functions of the female body, just as it damages healthy and normal female genital tissues.
Explaining the reasons why female genital mutilation is performed in various forms from one region to another over time, Dr. James said the socio-cultural reasons from research indicated that some circumcised women believe that their daughters must do the same as part of tradition.
She further noted that FGM is a social convention (social norm), the social pressure to conform to what others do and have been doing, as well as the need to be accepted socially, including the fear of being rejected by the community, are strong motivations to perpetuate the practice.
The Medical Officer said FGM is also associated with cultural ideals of femininity and modesty, which include the notion that girls are clean and beautiful after the removal of body parts that are considered unclean or unfeminine.
Her words, “Mothers choose to subject their daughters to the practice to protect them from being ostracised, beaten, shunned, or disgraced, it is also a way of controlling a woman’s sexuality. Although it is believed that it has religious support, no religious scripts prescribe the practice”.
While pointing out the need to abolish this unhealthy practice in society, Dr. James charged people at the grassroots to make drastic efforts to join the crusade to say “NO” to Female Genital Mutilation wherever it is being practised, informing that it is crude, dangerous, wicked and unhealthy.
Dr. James urged governments at all levels to continue to educate and mobilise people, especially at the grassroots level, to kick against the menace of female genital mutilation in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.