The recent NOI Polls on Female Genital Mutilation should give you serious pause

NOI Polls the premium polling service in West Africa on the 3rd of March released stats from their latest poll on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). For all intents and purposes F.G.M. has been outlawed across the country but unofficially it continues to thrive across the country spurred by superstition, harmful cultural practices and in rarer instances religion.

 

Thirteen percent of Nigerians (the number is probably higher when you consider that the methods NOI Polls uses for its surveys eliminates illiterate communities) have no idea what F.G.M is.

The second poll reveals a few interesting things, F.G.M is more prevalent in the ‘educated’ Nigerian South and a 38% (numbers will probably actually be as high as the mid 40’s) is way too high for a country with as much access to education and development as Nigeria has.  Its even more worrying when you consider that the high maternal mortality rates can also be linked to F.G.M and how it increases the risk of pregnancy. This doesn’t even factor the potential risk of infections that can lead to infertility and the loss of sexual pleasure and trauma an event of that magnitude can cause.

If 40 percent of the female population in Nigeria is at risk of female genital mutilation in 2017, even with the stringent laws put in place to protect them, then other ways need to be employed to tackle F.G.M. There is no better place to start than peer-to-peer education. We can’t keep throwing statistics at people if their churches and mosques don’t condemn FGM first.

 

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