Again, UNICEF links FGM with high mortality rate
Embraces Teenagers Who Rejected FGM
Seventeen-year-old Confident Mbam, and 18-year-old Faith Ekwede, from Achacha 1 Igbeagu in Izzi Local Council of Ebonyi State, recently ran into the warm embrace of UNICEF, after escaping from the village in order not to undergo the dreaded female genital mutilation (FGM)
The girls, The Guardian understands ran away from their village when they got wind of the impending mutilation.While on a sensitisation visit to the community, the United Nations agency explained that women circumcision, apart from the complications that come with it, also causes devastating, social, emotional, legal and economic repercussions for young girls and women.
Narrating their ordeal during an advocacy visit to Achacha by UNICEF and other organisations, Mbam said that she ran away from the house when she got the news that she would be circumcised that night.
She noted that she first took refuge at her pastor’s house, who later aided her to run to Cross River State.She said her father, who is the traditional ruler of the village, had told her to prepare herself for the ritual, explaining that it is the only way to be initiated into womanhood.
She continued, “So, I asked myself why will my parents want to mutilate me now that I am 17 and beside, our pastor (Anglican Priest) has told us that the practice is against our faith and we should not indulge in it.
So at that point she said: “I made up my mind to run away and my first destination was our pastors place, who hid me till the next day before I ran to one of my elder brothers living in Cross River State.
In her own case, Ekwede, a JSS 1 student of Comprehensive College, Achacha 1, said she also ran away when the news of her impending mutilation filtered out.
UNICEF Communication Officer Mrs. Ijeoma Onuoha, said: “It’s unacceptable that in this age, millions of women and girls continue to undergo the harmful practice of FGM/C, which research, science has proven to be a high risk factor for maternal mortality, VVF, and other socio-economic repercussions for the survivors.”