proposals for effective application of the media in the crusade against female circumcision in nigeria


In this study, the researcher set out to examine the various strategies for applying the media in the crusade against female circumcision (or female gental mublation). Towards this end 86 staff of the ministry of women affairs were randomly selected to form the study sample. The 86 members of the study sample were issued with 86 copies of structured questionnaire to complete. The analysis of structured questionnaires to complete. The analysis of their responses related the following findings.

1.    There are no genuine reasons for the performance of FGM in Nigeria

2.    Some of the reasons given for performing FGM in Nigeria include the following:-

·         To prevent sexual promiscuity among women

·         To maintain chastity and virginity among the women folk before marriage

·         Cultural reasons e.g. initiation of girls into womanhood.

·         Mythical reason e.g. enhancement of fertility.

3.            The media compaign against FGM had made positive impact on those societies where it is being practiced. Some of these impacts include:-

·         Discouragement of the masses from performing FGM.

·         Encouraging FGM practitioners to retire from the practice.

·         Reduction of the complications from FGM

4.            The Nigeria media had made laudable efforts towards the eradication of FGM. These efforts include:

·         Condemnation of the practice of FGM through public enlightenment campaigns in the print media/electronic media.

·         Exposure of the public of the practice of FGM.




According to Akpoekong (2000) female genital mutilation (FGM), often referred to as “female circumcision” comprises of all procedures involving partial a total removal of the external female genitals or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons, FGM has been a big health problem of women in most developing nations.

Many reasons have been given for the performance of FGM. Some of these reasons, in some communities, are cultural in nature, while in other communities they are done for religious reasons. For whatever reason given for the performance of FGM, it is important to realise me scale and scope of the problem it causes to women in general, and the sufferings which underlies it, had rightly made it an issue of great natural and international concern. Presently no international organisation cares for the welfare of its circumcised women, and their desperate plight often draws scarf attention from the media (Ibe, 2001)

In most African countries, culture is the major factor that induced over wheming support for the performance of FGM. In there nations, culture beliefs purport that the performance of FGM makes women to be less promiscuous. This implies that the culture of there nations had made its citizens to believe that female circumcision makes wires to be more loyal to their husbands. The more nauseating thing about this is that, in those nations where FGM is practiced, its women on often noy in a position to question the dictates of their cultures or to make suggestions as regards eradicating some harmful traditional practices. Nsidi (1999) enumerated some of the tribes in Africa where FGM is being practiced as a result of cultural factors. There among others, included the following:

·         The Ibos of Eastern Nigeria

·         The pymics and primitive tribes of some remote parts of Congo forests.

·         The Kikuju and Masai or Kenya.

·         The numerous Indian tribes in its Amazou region of Brazil as well as the Negroes in the same countries.

·         Some Negro tribes in the following countries of Africa:-

1.    Uganda

2.    Tanzania

3.    Burkina Faso

4.    Chad

5.    Mali

6.    Republic of Benin

7.    Ghana (the asante and panti tribe)

8.    Mozambique

9.    Ethiopia

·         The itsekiris and Urhobo of Mid –Western Nigeria and some primitive tribe in:

1.    Argentina

2.    Peru

3.    Uruguay

FGM had in this modern days attracted a lot of condemnation and criticism due to the dangers inherent its practice. Thus from the amplified voices of women’s rights advocates through to the affirmative action of many civilised societies, the issue of stopping the performance of FGM has taken a new dimension. Prominent in the crusade against the performance of FGM are some women organisations who regards some cultural practices as good violation of the rights of the women. Among the demands of there groups of women is then push for the accordance of due rights to women in all concernable fronts, including the abolition of the performance of FGM in allsocities (Wonuma, 2000).

In the religious fronts, the picture remains the same on the issue of FGM. Most Christian groups, had always taken the stand of absolute prohibition of the performance of FGM. Some of the Christian groups that condemned the performance of FGM in Nigeria, according to Nwana (2001) are the following:-

1.    The Roman catholic mission

2.    The Methodist church

3.    The Baptist church

4.    The Anglican communion

5.    The Cahu mission

6.    Presbyterian church

7.    Congregational churches

8.    Eastern orthodox churches

9.    Salvation army and

10.  The Pentecostal churches.

Despite the public condemnation of the practice of FGM, many communities, especially in the Southern part of Nigeria had continued with the practice. Although it is difficult to obtain national statistics on FGM (Female Circumcision), the practice is generally regarded as an increasing problem in the rural areas of the country. This made the conduction of this study a matter of urgent importance to the country.

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