The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (MWAPA) is on a mission to raise awareness and advocate against female genital mutilation and forced child marriage. Taking their sensitization and advocacy campaigns to Alaba-Rago and Alaworo markets in the Ojo Local Government Area, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, called on residents, especially male members of the community, to reject harmful traditional practices.
In her statement, Kalesanwo emphasized the need to put an end to these deeply rooted harmful traditions, cultural beliefs, and social norms. She highlighted the adverse effects of female genital mutilation, explaining that there is no medical or scientific basis for the practice. Instead, it leads to infections, childbirth complications, and long-term emotional trauma for victims.
To combat these practices, the ministry has established a legal framework to prosecute offenders, with penalties of up to four years in imprisonment. Furthermore, Kalesanwo stressed the devastating consequences of child early marriage, as it robs young girls of their childhood, education, and opportunities, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and illiteracy.
The ministry calls for the complete eradication of these harmful practices, protecting girls born and raised in Lagos State from being forced into early marriage before the age of 18 when they are not physically, mentally, and emotionally ready. Together, they strive for a future where these harmful practices are eliminated, empowering girls to live life to the fullest.
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