TWEET CONFERENCE SCRIPT: Overview Of Osun State Female Circumcision And Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 – 22nd November, 2018

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.  

The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies FGM into 4 types. WHO classifies FGM/C into four categories with subdivisions.  

FGM Type I: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy). The 2 subdivisions are, FGM Type Ia: removal of the prepuce/clitoral hood (circumcision) and FGM Type Ib: removal of the clitoris with the prepuce  

FGM Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision)

The 3 subdivisions are ofFGM Type II are; FGM Type IIa: removal of the labia minora only; FGM Type IIb: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora; and FGM Type IIc: partial or total removal of the clitoris, the labia minora and the labia majora

FGM Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with the creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation).

The 2 subdivisions are,FGM Type IIIa: removal and a positioning the labia minora with or without excision of the clitoris; and FGM Type IIIb: removal and a positioning the labia majora with or without excision of the clitoris

Type 4 Unclassified; refers to all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, including cauterization, pulling, incision, piercing, pricking, and scrapping for non-medical reasons.

It is estimated that over 200 million girls and women worldwide are living with or at risk of suffering the associated negative health consequences of FGM   

Every year 3 million girls and women are at risk of FGM and are therefore exposed to the potential negative health consequences of this harmful practice.  

FGM has no known health benefits, and those girls and women who have undergone the procedure are at great risk of suffering from its complications throughout their lives.

The procedure of FGM is painful and traumatic, and is often performed under unsterile conditions by a traditional practitioner who has little knowledge of female anatomy or how to manage possible adverse events.  

Moreover, the removal of or damage to healthy genital tissue interferes with the natural functioning of the body and may cause severe immediate and long-term negative health consequences.  

The practice of FGM is prevalent in 30 countries in Africa and in a few countries in Asia and the Middle East, but also present across the globe due to international migration

FGM practice is deeply rooted in a strong cultural and social framework. It is endorsed by the practicing community and is supported by loving parents who believe that undergoing FGM is in the best interest of their daughter.  

The beliefs sustaining the practice of FGM vary greatly from one community to another, although there are many common themes. However, the primary reason is that it is part of the history and cultural tradition of the community.

Despite its cultural importance, we need to acknowledge the fact that FGM is a harmful traditional practice that violates the rights of girls and women.  Therefore, FGM has to be eliminated.  

Osun state female circumcision and genital mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 was enacted by the Osun State House of Assembly and Assented to by the executive governor of Osun state, His Excellency, Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola on 12th April, 2005.  

It is a law to prohibit violence against women in public and private life, whether or not the consent of the affected person is obtained.

The law captures the citation, prohibition, offender of the law, medical certification, punishment, power of arrest, arraignment and trial, appeal and interpretation.  

According to Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004, offender of the law shall be any female who offers herself for circumcision or genital mutilation any person who coerces, entices, councels or induces any female to undergo circumcision or genital mutilation, any person who allows his/her daughter or ward to be circumcised or has the genital organ mutilated, any person who, other than for medical reasons, perform the operation of female circumcision or female mutilation. 

Section 4 subsection 1 of Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibition) Law 2004 captures “medical certification”.

Subsection 1 says; where a surgical operation is required by any female to save her life which requires the clitoris, or any or all of the labia majora or labia minora to be removed where it is required to remove all or any part of the female organ referred to under this section in order to save the life of a female: (i) which becom es cancerous, (ii)who has been raped by a person or persons, (iii) who has vaginal infection in which, if the clitoris, labia majora, labia minora, is not removed will die; ….

Subsection 2 state that a medical officer shall issue a certificate stating the reason, time, date and after effect(s) of such operation.

Section 4 subsection 2 of Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibition) Law 2004 captures such case as in sub-section (1) of this law that it shall be permissible under his law upon the tendering of such certificate signed by the Medical officer.

Section 5 says; any person found guilty under this law shall be liable to on first conviction, a fine of one hundred thousand Naira (100,000) or an imprisonment for two years; and each subsequent offence attract two years jail term without an option of fine.

Section 6 of Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 captures the power of arrest.

Section 6 says; any person who contravenes any of the provisions  of this law may be arrested without warrant by: (i) member(s) of Police Force, (ii) Health officer(s) of the ministry of health, (iii) Health officer(s) in the local government areas, and (iv) any other person authorized by the law.

Section 7 of Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 captures the arraignment and trial.

Section 7 says; any person arrested under the provision of this law shall be taken without delay to the nearest police station where he or she may be granted bail until he or she is brought before a magistrate court for trials.

Section 8 of Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 captures “the appeal”.

Section 8 says; where a conviction upon an offence under this law is challenged, a high court sitting in the jurisdiction shall entertain any appeal arising therefrom.

Section 9 of Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 captures the interpretation.

According to section 9 of Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 “Female Genital Mutilation” includes all procedures that involve partial or total removal, cutting or incision of the female external genitalia or injury to the female genital organ.

Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 defines “circumcision” as the act of cutting off the clitoris of a female.

According to Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 “genital Organ” means the vaginal or sex organ of a female.

Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004 defines “medical officer” as a duly qualified and registerd medical practitioner or surgeon resident or working with any state owned or private health centre.

Having shared the stand of the Osun State female Circumcision and Genital Mutilation (Prohibitation) Law 2004, we also understand the good people of Osun state need to come to the awareness of this law. Hence, there is need for domestication of this law across LGAs, Towns and Communities.  @raufaregbesola

There is a need to further engage the judiciary and the security agencies toward the enforcement of these laws to avoid having them as just virtual accomplishments.

There is a need to also train the personnel in the judiciary and security agencies on the domestication of the law.

The @policeNG, @CivilDefenceNGR, Nigerian Prisons and other agencies must be alerted towards this urgent call to prosecute every offender of this harmful practice.  

To learn more about the @endcuttinggirls Campaign, please visit endcuttinggirls.org for information.  You may also follow our social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, using @endcuttinggirls

At this point, I will end the presentation to give room for questions and contributions from participants. Thank you all for reading our tweets

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