Genital Mutilation (FGM) includes all procedures that involve the partial or
total removal of external genitalia or other injury to the female genital
organs for non-medical reasons.
World Health Organization (WHO) has classified FGM into four types, all of which
are practiced in Nigeria.
Type I: partial or total removal of the
clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy).
Type II: partial or total removal of the
clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora
FGM Type III: This type is called
infibulation and involves narrowing of the vaginal orifice with 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).
IV: unclassified – all other harmful
procedures to the female genitalia for nonmedical purposes, for example,
pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.
IV also includes the practice of “massaging” or applying petroleum jelly,
herbal concoctions or hot water to the clitoris to desensitize it or pushing it
back into the body, which is common in many parts of Nigeria, especially Imo
is estimated that over 200 million girls and women worldwide are living with
the effects of FGM, and every year some 3 million girls and women are at risk
of FGM and are therefore exposed to its potential negative health consequences
is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who play other central roles
in communities, such as Traditional Birth Attendants.
has no known health benefit, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves
removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes
with the natural functions of a woman’s body.
practice of FGM continue to prevail for reasons including; Respect for
Tradition, Rite Of Passage, Social Convention, Marriageability, Virginity,
Fertility, Chastity and Faithfulness, Cleanliness, Femininity, and Religion.
more information about FGM you can visit http://new.endcuttinggirls.org/ or https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation.
Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a growing concern in the world, it strongly
violates the human rights of individuals hence the campaign to eliminate the
practice must be hastened.
Nigeria, The UN Joint Programme on FGM in recognition of the complex interplay
of social, cultural, economic and political factors that increase girls’ and
women’s likelihood of undergoing FGM, promotes sustainable social norms change
and gender transformation.
of the proposed strategies for achieving this outcome is the increased
engagement of men and boys on changing social and gender norms.
strategy is vital because many interventions on FGM elimination do not engage
men or male groups as strategic partners in leading the campaign to end
most cases the men, and male groups, participate in community dialogues and
similar social mobilization interventions but are rarely engaged as advocates
due to the belief that FGM is a “woman’s issue”.
situation has limited their ability to contribute to the campaign beyond these
initial engagements. Men in their
diverse roles (fathers, husbands, relatives, community leaders, religious
leaders, etc.) have been perpetuating the practice of FGM either by omission or
some men have openly supported the practice by paying for the procedure or
served as traditional cutters, others aid the practice through their
hold very prominent positions in the community and have a lot of influence
within and outside the home, especially in a patriarchal society.
also belong to groups (religious, social, traditional, etc.) that address
social issues and contribute to the development of their communities.
Men and their groups have the potential to contribute to the elimination of
FGM. Unfortunately, these potential has
not been well explored.
engage Alliance intends to bridge this gap by engaging community-based male
groups as strategic partners in promoting women’s health by advocating for the
elimination of FGM.
expectation is that if men become involved in the campaign to eliminate FGM,
there is a greater likelihood that they will motivate their families and
community’s to end FGM.
a Male Engage Alliance is formed, there must be some level of capacity building
for the male groups.
aim of the capacity building is:
- To discuss the ways in
which female genital mutilation (FGM) impacts women’s health and rights
- To learn about women’s
sexual and reproductive rights and how knowing these rights can empower women
to make informed decisions about their wellbeing
- To discuss ways that men
can support and promote the elimination of the practice of FGM.
programs and initiatives show that the most appropriate and effective way to
engage the community on the issues about FGM is to introduce the topic within a
the topic directly can be confronting and unproductive for participants who may
never have discussed the issue before and who may consider the subject taboo.
topic is most effectively integrated within programs as part of a holistic
approach to increasing women’s and girls’ health, wellbeing and independence.”
you have already established a relationship of trust with your group, or have
been specifically invited to speak on the topic of FGM, best practice
literature suggests that the topic of FGM should be framed within a wider
context relating to women’s health and/or human rights.
the issue of FGM without established trust or proper context has been widely
recognized as ineffective and can potentially have negative consequences for
this reason, a Guide on Male Engagement strategy should be developed to address
the topic of FGM from a number of perspectives including gender equity, human
rights and sexual and reproductive health.
some States in Nigeria, the male engagement strategy has been implemented and the
outcome has gone to prove that male engagement is key in Ending Female Genital
core aim of the male engage alliance is to advocate for the wellbeing of Girls
and Women in their community.
Male engage alliance will also discuss FGM and other issues affecting the live
of their Girls and Women during their regular meetings.
conclusion, to contribute to the elimination of harmful practices as proposed
by Target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), engaging male groups
time to see and respond to your questions and/or opinions based on the
conference topic. Keep them coming.
we will end FGM in this generation.