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A man shows the logo of a T-shirt that reads "Stop the Cut" referring to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) during a social event advocating against harmful practices such as FGM at the Imbirikani Girls High School in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola - RTX2B0S7

Brutal practice

20 million Nigerian girls have been subjected to FGM, report finds

October 11, 2016

Some 20 million women and girls in Nigeria have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), according to a new report by 28 Too Many, an anti-FGM activist group.  These numbers comprise 10 percent of the global total of FGM rates.

FGM can cause infertility, infection, loss of sexual pleasure, and even death. The report found that 16 percent of Nigerian females are cut before their first birthday; 82 percent of women underwent the painful procedure before the age of five. Fifteen percent of women and 23.6 percent of men indicated that they believe FGM is mandated by their religion — though it is not actually specified in any religious script. More than 60 percent of the survey sample, however, told researchers that they believe FGM should be stopped.

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s outgoing president, outlawed the practice in 2015, but this ban has proven difficult to enforce because there is no central organization working to combat FGM.

The rise of social media among younger Nigerians may prove to be key in spreading messages about the harms of FGM. According to the authors of the study, there “is now a large, young population with increased access to information through phones, and an increased use of social media offers new opportunities for transmitting information about the dangers of FGM.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.



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