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Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting refers to a broad range of traditional practices, all of them encompassing the alteration of a woman or girl’s external genitalia. Globally, an estimated 140 million girls and women have undergone Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, and more than 3 million girls are at risk for cutting each year on the African continent alone. FGM/C is generally performed on girls between ages 4 and 12, although it is practiced in some cultures as early as a few days after birth or as late as just prior to marriage.
In Nigeria, practices include partial removal of the clitoris with a knife, infibulations and sewing/shutting of a woman’s vaginal opening. Usually carried out far from a medical or sanitary setting, the ritual can cause dangerous bleeding, infection, development of scar tissue that leads to injury during childbirth or sexual intercourse and even death.
Osun State has the highest rate of female genital mutilation among the Yoruba. Osun State because it has the highest prevalence rate in Nigeria - as high as 76.6%”. According to the 2003 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey, over 60% of Yoruba women have undergone the ritual nationwide. The incidence of FGM in Nigeria varies greatly across the country’s huge diversity of ethnic groups. Until recently, there was no national law banning the practice. These activities that was conducted by HFDI has been able to meet with the goals and aspiration of the project because it has improve the quality of life of community people and HFDI has been able to impact on the lives of the community people through these various activities.
HFDI conducted advocacy to different stakeholders in Osun State so as to get their buy-in in stopping FGM/C in Osun State. HFDI conducted community dialogues in different Communities in Osun State so as to determine the drivers of this dastardly acts . HFDI has also conducted community mobilization through road shows in communities of Ede South and Iwo LGA to give information to people about FGM/C
HFDI has trained many Traditional Birth Attendants and midwives in the state so as to stem the tide of this reprehensible act in different communities.
HFDI has been able to reach many parents through the Traditional Birth Attendants and midwives who serves as community volunteers with messages on the effect of FGM on the girl child. A lot community people have also been reached through community sensitization and outreaches carried out by HFDI team and the volunteers. HFDI has made great in-road and impact in the community and has been able to work to reduce FGM in the communities. Many communities that were practicing FGM/C in the past are now abandoning it due to the work of the TBAs and Midwives and the information they now have in their fingertips which is due to the intervention of HFDI in reducing FGM/C in Osun State and Nigeria in general.
It is pertinent to note that protecting the right of children especially girls is one of the most important human right issues in Nigeria. Due to increased information on FGM there is a wave of social change going on in the LGAs and State in general on FGM and there is need to sustain this so as to defeat this act.
HFDI will continue pursue an agenda of partnership with the government, private sector, healthcare workers, media and other relevant stakeholders towards ensuring that we all join hands together to defeat FGM in in Nigeria and beyond!
Improving the lives of our children especially the girl child is building a better world for the coming generation.

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