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Katsina first lady seeks collaboration in fight against FGM

Mrs Radda said the goal was to break the chains of silence and dismantle the cultural norms perpetuating FGM.

• February 7, 2024
Hajiya Zulaihat Radda
Hajiya Zulaihat Radda [Photo credit: Instagram]

Wife of the Katsina State Governor, Zulaihat Radda, has called for a comprehensive approach towards eradicating female genital mutilation in the state.

The governor’s wife made the call in Katsina on the occasion of the commemoration of the 2024 International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, with the theme “Her Voice, Her Future.’’

According to her, the way forward for eradicating FGM demands a comprehensive approach involving education, advocacy, and legislative measures. 

She explained that the primary objective of the zero-tolerance campaign was to eradicate the deeply entrenched practice of FGM, saying,”It is a violation that robs countless women and girls of their physical and emotional well-being.”

Mrs Radda said the aim of the campaign was to foster a global understanding that perpetuating this harmful tradition had severe consequences for the health, dignity, and autonomy of those affected.

“Our goal is to break the chains of silence and dismantle the cultural norms that perpetuate FGM. This violation of human rights demands collective attention, as we stand united to end it.

“We must prioritise awareness campaigns to educate communities about the physical and psychological toll of FGM, dispelling misconceptions that perpetuate this harmful tradition.

“Simultaneously, our advocacy efforts must extend to policymakers, urging them to enact and enforce legislation that criminalises and penalises FGM,” she said.

According to her, recent statistics on FGM in Nigeria is quite alarming, saying that Katsina, with about eight per cent, appeared to be low compared to other states.

She also assured of her commitment as chairperson of the state’s committee on gender-based violence to ensuring zero tolerance for FGM.

She noted that collaboration between governments, NGOs and communities was essential to addressing the causes and elimination of the social acceptance of FGM.

“Empowering women and girls to speak out against FGM requires a concerted effort to creating safe spaces where their voices can be heard without fear of retribution. Let me also in a special way, appeal for collaboration with relevant agencies, especially development partners in the fight against FGM, not only in Katsina or Nigeria, but globally.

“My pet project, Safe Space Humanitarian Initiative will continue to champion the advancement of women, children, the less privileged and physically challenged.

“SASHIN’s other areas of interest include education, health and climate change. Supporting survivors and providing them with the necessary healthcare and psychological assistance is crucial,” she said.

Earlier, the state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs, Zainab Musa-Musawa, said “FGM not only violates the rights and dignity of women and girls, but also perpetuates gender inequality.

“As we reflect on the insights shared, let’s reaffirm our commitment to ending FGM and standing up for the rights of all individuals, regardless of gender. Together, let’s raise awareness, advocate for change, and support initiatives that empower women and girls worldwide,” she appealed. 

(NAN)

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