This is a Law to
prohibit female genital mutilation, also erroneously called female
circumcision, in Ekiti State. It prescribes punishment for offenders of #FGM.
This law makes female genital mutilation a crime punishable by fine and
Before we proceed to
analyse this law, it is important that we understand what 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 into four
categories with subdivisions.
FGM Type 1: partial
or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy). The 2
FGM Type 1a:
removal of the prepuce/clitoral hood (circumcision) and
FGM Type 1b:
removal of the clitoris with the prepuce.
FGM Type 2: Partial
or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision
of the labia majora (excision). The 3 subdivisions are of FGM Type 2 are;
FGM Type 2a:
removal of the labia minora only;
FGM Type 2b:
partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora; and
FGM Type 2c:
partial or total removal of the clitoris, the labia minora and the labia majora.
FGM Type 3:
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 3a:
removal and appositioning the labia minora with or without excision of the
FGM Type 3b:
removal and appositioning the labia majora with or without excision of the
FGM Type 4: This
includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical
purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the
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.
consequences of FGM include severe pain and bleeding, shock, difficulty in
passing urine, infections, injury to nearby genital tissue and sometimes death.
The procedure can
result in death through severe bleeding leading to haemorrhagic shock,
neurogenic shock as a result of pain and trauma, and overwhelming infection and
According to Manfred
Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment.
Almost all women who
have undergone FGM experience pain and bleeding as a consequence of the procedure.
The event itself is
traumatic as girls are held down during the procedure. Risk and complications
increase with the type of FGM and are more severe and prevalent with
FGM of any type is a
violation of the human rights of girls and women. FGM is known to be harmful to
girls and women in many ways.
The removal of or
damage to healthy, normal genital tissue interferes with the natural functioning
of the body and causes several immediate and long-term physical, psychological
and sexual consequences. Research shows that when women’s and girls’ human
rights are reinforced and legally protected, FGM declines or is abandoned
The Female Circumcision (Prohibition) Law of Ekiti State was enacted by the House of Assembly of Ekiti State of Nigeria and signed into law on the 13th of August, 2002 by Governor Adeniyi Adebayo.
This law seeks to
prohibit some harmful traditional practices prevalent in communities in Ekiti
state against women, such as female circumcision or genital mutilation which may result in
disastrous consequences on the physical and mental health of women.
The law deals solely
with female genital mutilation, often called female circumcision in the Law,
and provides penalties for its violation.
Ekiti State Female Circumcision (Prohibition) Law of 2002 defines circumcision or genital mutilation as the act of cutting off the clitoris of the female.
It also defines Mutilation as any cutting,
incision, damage, or removal of any or all of the sex organs.
Section 2 and 3 of the Law deals with Prohibition of female circumcision
or genital mutilation.
Section 2 of the law says that; “No person
shall circumcise or mutilate the genital organ of any female, whether or not
her consent is obtained”.
Section 3 breaks
down the offence further, and stipulates the penalty for violation of the law.
The classes of
offenders under the law are;
- Any person who
performs the operation of female circumcision or female genital mutilation.
- Any person who
offers herself for circumcision or genital mutilation
- Any person who
coerces, entices, or induces any person to undergo female genital mutilation.
- Any person who
allows any female child/ward to be circumcised or caused her genital organ to
Anyone that violates this law for the first time shall be liable on conviction to a fine of Ten Thousand Naira or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years.
Every subsequent violation shall attract
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years without an option of fine.
On power of arrest, the law, through
Section 4 empowers members of the police, officers of the Ministry of Health,
health Officers in the Local Government Areas to arrest offenders under this
The law also recognises that subject to
the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, any person authorised by
law, may equally arrest offenders under this Law.
Such authorised persons include the
officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, justices of the peace
and any other law enforcement institution as may be created from time to time
by the government.
Any person arrested under the provision of
this law shall be arraigned before a Magistrate.
The Law goes further to enumerate what FGM entails, its harmful
effects, and its prevalence in the country at the time of making the law.
The law recognizes that FGM entails using sterilized, or in most
cases, unsterilized objects for the practice.
The law mentions some of the health effects of the practice to
include; mental, physical and psychological pains to the affected female.
More specifically, excessive bleeding (haemorrhage), blood
poisoning (serticemia), infections such as STDs and HIV, painful menstruation,
painful intercourse, keloid, cyst formation, neurosis, phobia for sex,
razorphobia, lack of confidence and feeling of inadequacy in sexual relations,
prolonged labour, heamatocolps, among others.
In summary, the law recognizes the dangers of FGM, therefore
criminalizing the practice, and setting out penalties for anyone involved in
the practice from the consenting female to the enabler to the cutter and
everyone on the chain of the practice.
It is however pertinent to state here that the law was passed
since 2002. Over 16 years ago. The law is due for review and amendment.
Provisions such as the definition of terms should be amended to
reflect present day best practice. The financial penalties should also be
raised to make it more punitive and deterring.
It is also critical that the law should incorporate penalties
for medicalization of the practice.
As it is in the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act,
persons who are aware of the practice but fail to report, and persons who try
to cover/hide the practice should also be specifically provided for under the
Having shared a
concise analysis of the Ekiti State Law, we also understand that the good
people of Ekiti state need to be aware of this law. Hence, the need for
dissemination of this law across LGAs, Towns and Communities. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
There is a need to
further engage the security agencies and concerned Ministries, agencies and
departments of government towards 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 the security agencies on the
provisions of the law.
The most important
ingredient of this law is public acceptance. Beyond the penalties and
provisions of this law, the people need to make a stand to abandon this
practice, as has been seen in several communities in Ekiti.
Ikere, Ogotun, Orin, Igbara Odo and 70 other communities have made public
declarations to abandon the practice. More of such declarations and their
follow-through are needed to see an end to this practice.
Thank you for your time. We will now welcome questions and
We implore you to
join us every Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. Also visit our website www.endcuttinggirls.org and follow the handle “Endcuttinggirls Nigeria’’ on all social
Next week, join
@mbamonyii and @olamosesdecoda as they will lead us on another insightful
session on #FGM abandonment.
Together we will end
FGM in this generation. #endcuttinggirls. @endcuttinggirls