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Nigerians urge inclusion of FGM in school curriculum

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Women groups and other stakeholders in Ebonyi State have called on the government to review the education curriculum to allow for the inclusion of tutorials against the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The stakeholders believed this was one of the ways to achieve zero tolerance for FGM.

They said the inclusion of FGM and other harmful practices in the school system would help inculcate in pupils and students of secondary education the dangers of FGM as they grow in their learning.

They spoke to BusinessDay on Tuesday in Ishielu local government area of Ebonyi State, during UNICEF FGM media engagement, 2024 with the theme, “Her Voice, Her Future”.

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February 6th is set aside annually as International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation.

This day provides ample opportunity for all stakeholders involved in ending the practice to celebrate achievements recorded, seek an end to the practice and raise awareness of its danger.

Mike Okechi a retired school principal from Eziulo community noted that through UNICEF and other developmental partners, communities have abandoned the practice of female genital mutilation and other harmful practices but more awareness and education on their danger was still required.

Okechi said there should be deliberate efforts by the male folks to ensure that no Ishielu woman engaged in female genital mutilation, no matter the situation.

On her part, Olugh Ifeoma, former vice chairman Ishielu local government, said the support of UNICEF has saved their women and children from a lot of dangers.

“While UNICEF is helping, I also want our government to include zero tolerance on FGM in school curriculum and sensitise women. The government should train our teachers, especially those in rural areas, it should also monitor the implementation of the curriculum if the goal of eradicating the practice is to be achieved before 2030.

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“The education status of our women has improved; our young girls now have value for themselves because of the enlightenment programmes organised by UNICEF and other partners in which they participated.”

“In Okpoto community, mostly survivors of FGM are major champions; they used their whole heart to preach against it and it is yielding positive results today because our women are now protected,” said Ifeoma.