Asaba-Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) organized a community stakeholders forum for stakeholders in Aviara Kingdom, Isoko South Local Government Area. This is part of her activity to ensure the implementation of the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) law . It was agreed by members of the community during the forums held with focus on ending FGM that community members relate more to local sanctions than the state law.
The community forum which was held at the Araya town hall, Isoko South is one of the series of forums organized by GPI in Isoko land on FGM.
The forum gave participants opportunity to discuss about the state law on FGM and ask questions. The different stakeholders shared their thoughts about enacting a local sanction in the community and it was agreed that it will go a long way in notifying the public of their collective decision to abandon the practice.
The program officer Alex Okwor facilitated a session where the stakeholders discussed their roles in ending FGM in the community.
Reporting on his efforts thus far in ending FGM, the Vice President General from Araya community Mr Odike reported that during the annual conference meeting for the year there was a review of the marriage list and FGM was expunged from the list. The past President General of Aviara community Mr Ogbe Fredrick said that FGM is penalized and anyone who practices Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is fined. Pastor Akporiome Elisha, Erewire Judith a health worker, Orofa Rophina a survivor of FGM all confirmed that there is now a widespread rejection of the practice of FGM in both Araya and Aviara.
The Head of Programs (HOP) for GPI, Pat Akah commenting on the positive outcome requested that a copy of the sanction be given to the GPI team and Mr Ogbe Fredrick said the copy of the law will be made available to the organization.
The passage of local sanction on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Aviara kingdom was a welcome development and some members of the community spoke to the GPI staff on h
ow they felt. Ogbe O. Juliet: “Before the program, people did not know exactly the advantage and the disadvantage of FGM but I can tell you right now that every woman has come to know that it is against the rule of our community”. Odiki Estefan: Am a survivor of FGM and as result of the program on FGM, I can live a more healthy life free from the effects of FGM with the knowledge i have. The participants held placards passing across different messages on FGM and giving their full support for the total elimination of FGM from their communities.
Participants were drawn from palace elders, traditional leaders, survivors of Female Genital Cutting, traditional birth attendants (TBAs), religious leaders and health workers.