The representative of Ekiti South Senatorial District, Senator Biodun Olujimi, on Wednesday raised the alarm over millions of girls and women who are still at risk of Female Genital Mutilation.
Olujimi made this known in a statement to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance To Female Genital Mutilation.
She demanded for enforcement of legislation that has been put in place to protect the rights of women and girls in Nigeria.
She said: “Official statistics note that there is still high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria, with reports saying people now resort to seeking the services of health professionals, as opposed to traditional practitioners.
“Whichever practitioner chosen does not alter the fact that, this practice remains dangerous and life changing, with life lasting mental and physical damage. Impediment to a fulfilling life and barrier to emotional stability bear also some of the side effects.
“Therefore it is imperative that sensitisation and public awareness of this grievous harm to the bodies of girls and women must continue apace. The myth around this practice of being beneficial must be dismantled once for all.
“It is a health risk and a damaging socio-cultural norm and must be denounced as such.
“Hand in hand with this is the fact that policy and legislation that have been put in place to protect the rights of women and girls must be enforced and be seen to serve as a deterrent.
“Undoubtedly, there are millions of girls and women who are still at risk and this is why it behoves us all to speak out against this violation of rights.
“As you are aware, I have sponsored a Bill in the Senate called the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill which will when passed into law, help to deter would ‘be offenders.”
The former Minority Leader urged stakeholders like Royal Fathers, Faith-based and women organizations to continue in their efforts to educate about the Stop Mutilation and Cut of girls and women campaign in Nigeria.