As part of efforts to end female genital mutilation across the local government in Rivers state the international Federation of women lawyers last weekend took their campaign to Rumuekpe and Egbeda community on the need to stop the cultural practices which the people claimed was inherited from their fore fathers.
Some Egbeda women One who identified herself as scholar Onu told East west Reporters that although she has heard from sources that female circumcision was dangerous to the girl child but could not do anything to stop it as it the customs and tradition of her people in Egbeda, another woman in a nearby community Rumuekpe Emerdi Patience also collaborated the story of dehumanizing women using the blade as a means to guarantee them a befitting burial when they eventually die. ” She said in our tradition circumcision is one of our tradition because if you don’t circumcise your female child when you grow old and you die you will not enter ground, they will not do traditional rites for you, they will just do the corpse anyhow and throw you inside bush” she expressed fears that if the tradition is not formally abolished using others means of sensitization like using the health implication of female genital mutilation, awareness the practice might not stop.
another woman madam Grace wondered why ”the call to end female circumcision which has been the practice from generation to generation has never harmed anyone. in her word since i was born we have been circumcising women but since FIDA says its not good, we will stop. I thank FIDA for bringing us this sensitization.
The State chairperson of International federation of women lawyers FIDA Anthonia Osademe said the sensitization to Egbeda And Rumuekpe is part of activities to mark International day of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation which is celebrated on the 6th of February every year globally. ” we chose rumuekpe and egbeda because they are still practicing female genital mutilation. we FIDAs are fighting to ensure that such practices are abolished in the state, where by it continues its an offense punishable by law because Rivers state has already enact laws in 2001 abolishing all female harmful practices, we believe that communities who still indulge in such practice are not aware of the existing laws that is why we have come to sensitize them., we are told that the perpetrators of this crime are mostly the women who want to celebrate their daughter womanhood.
one of the chiefs from the area chief Francis Nath EBEH, JP. Secretary to the paramount Ruler of EGBEDA UBIMINI, HRH EZE C.N. DIDIA .JP. ” Said as a matter for fact it has been happening that is why we have promised the female lawyers who came to enlighten us on the dangers of cutting women. we have promised them that the chief and elders of the communities will from today onward abolish female genital circumcision., after hearing from them on the disadvantages and advantages we have put a stop to it”