By Funmilayo Olagunju
Black’s Law Dictionary defines female genital mutilation as female circumcision.
The act of cutting, or cutting off, one or more female sexual organs.
There are three commonly identified types;
- Sunna, in which the hood of the clitoris is cut off
- Excision, in which the entire clitoris is cut off
Infibulation, in which the clitoris, the labia minora and much of the labia majora are cut off.
The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 is a legislation that seeks to eliminate violence in private and public life in Nigeria. The VAPP Act 2015 is primarily applicable in the Federal Capital territory of Nigeria. At the time of this article, about 29 States in Nigeria have passed the Act into State Law, giving it a force of Law in their respective States. The Violence Against Person Law of each State contains similar provisions of The Violence Against Person (Prohibition) Act 2015 though the numbering of sections might vary. Certain States equally have Gender based violence Prohibition Law to the same effect. The Act shall be cited for ease of reference.
Section 6 of the Violence Against Person (Prohibition) Act 2015 prohibits Female genital mutilation:
(1) The circumcision or genital mutilation of the Girl Child or Woman is hereby prohibited
(2) A person who performs female circumcision or genital mutilation or engages another to carry out such circumcision or mutilation commits an offence and is liable to conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 4 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both.
(3) A person who attempts to carry out the offence of female circumcision or genital mutilation also commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both.
(4) A person who also incites, aids or abets or counsels another to commit the offence of female circumcision or mutilation commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both.
The circumcision of female children or adult is outlawed in a reasonable part of Nigeria. Let all parents, care givers and maternity homes be duly informed. It is not a defence that the parent gave “consent”. Culture and religious belief are not tenable justification .
There is no substantial proof that female circumcision prohibits promiscuity in female. There are enormous medical risk associated with it consequent upon which it is outlawed.
The scriptural instruction of circumcision does not pertain to female.
“This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised”