The first ladies of West Africa have called for an end to the age-long tradition practice of female genital mutilation because of its negative effect on women and image for the sub-region.
The women made the declaration in Niamey on Friday at the 2017 edition of the Forum of West African First Ladies’ Meeting.
They discussed extensively the issues of Female Genital Mutilation, Obstetric Fistula and gender equality in the sub-region.
The meeting, hosted by the First Lady of Niger Republic, Dr. Malika Issoufou, stressed the need by leaders of the sub-region to strengthen mechanisms for the suppression of gender-based violence.
“A quit notice has been given by wives of heads of state and presidents of the West African countries against female genital mutilation,” the women resolved.
They recalled that obstetric fistula was the consequence of early marriage and the result of long labour during child birth.
The women condemned all forms of obstetric fistula and called on member states to strengthen its management and prevention.
They also resolved to promote education to ensure the realisation of girls’ and women’s rights as well as to maintain on-going dialogue with stakeholders to prevent obstetric fistula.
They urged stakeholders to take concrete steps to address the menace, check the practice of child marriage and ensure adequate legal protection against the causes of obstetric fistula.
The wife of Nigeria’s President, Aisha Buhari, was represented by the wife of the Vice-President, Dolapo Osinbajo.
The Nigerian delegation included the Senior Special Assistant to the Wife of the President, Dr. Hajo Sani, and the wives of Nasarawa State Governor, Dr. Mairo Al-Makura, and that of Kogi State, Rashidat Bello.