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INFANT-FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (IFGM) IN CITIES AND THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN PERPETUATING FGM: A PROBE ON WHY FGM PERSISTS IN URBAN CENTERS IN NIGERIA
Mgbakoigba: Journal of African Studies, Volume 4, 2015 (2015)
  • Blessing Onyima, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka Nigeria
Abstract
It is often presumed that female genital mutilation (FGM) is only a rural phenomenon but in recent times, FGM persists in most cities in Nigeria. Its persistence in most Nigerian cities seems to be as a result of the post partum birthing rituals known as omugwo among eastern Nigerians. Empirical data was collected through focused group discussion and in-depth interviews, anchored on feminists’ perspectives of the female body structure as basis for critical analysis. Study found prevailing wrong notions/perceptions of the female body by women themselves, such as the ugliness of the clitoris which leads women into FGM. Massaging infant vagina with Vaseline and other ointments, is recently considered as ‘alternative’ to FGM. There also seems to be a preference for infant girl/female genital mutilation’ (IFGM) at an age when infants can neither complain nor resist, to teenage or adult girl/female’ genital mutilation (AFGM). This arguably is in a bid to avoid the stress parents, particularly grandmothers and mother-in-laws, go through while trying to convince a grown-up teenage girl child to succumb to the gruesome and painful cultural practice of ‘slicing the clitoris’. The paper therefore highlights new dimensions to the practice of FGM in Nigeria, the role of women in propagating FGM and its child right implications. This study, therefore recommends that the recent search for beauty in the vagina must be discouraged among women through greater sensitization of city-women by National orientation agency, women legal professional associations, media, health institutions and sanctioning of culprits.
Keywords
  • female genital mutilation,
  • child rights,
  • health,
  • postpartum birthing rituals,
  • girl-child
Publication Date
October 6, 2015
Citation Information
Blessing Onyima. "INFANT-FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (IFGM) IN CITIES AND THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN PERPETUATING FGM: A PROBE ON WHY FGM PERSISTS IN URBAN CENTERS IN NIGERIA" Mgbakoigba: Journal of African Studies, Volume 4, 2015 Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2015) p. 122 - 135 ISSN: ISSN 2346-7126
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/blessing-onyima/12/