Home Brand Talk Access Bank, Hacey Health Initiative Partners to Support Women, Curb Genital Mutilation
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Access Bank, Hacey Health Initiative Partners to Support Women, Curb Genital Mutilation

Access Bank PLC has partnered with HACEY Health Initiative As part of one of its initiatives of supporting women to commemorate this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The program was held across high prevalence zones and about 1,240 individuals benefited from the education in Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ebonyi.

Specifically, eight schools — two schools from each of the four states — were targeted, leading to 1,068 students being impacted by the  campaign.

As a result, nine religious centers — three in Osun State and two religious centers each from Oyo, Ekiti, and Ebonyi — were reached.

Several initiatives have helped in the struggle against FGM in Africa. Yet the conflict is far from over. According to UNICEF research, the majority of women in a number of African nations, including Egypt, Somalia, the Gambia, and Sierra Leone, say the practice should be continued. We must therefore step up our efforts as a global community to end the practice of FGM.

Access Bank’s W Initiative will continue its fight against gender stereotypes, discrimination, and bias, and foster women’s inclusion through the platform of its upcoming conference as the world continues to honor women this month, the bank said.

The conference will also offer a forum for learning from dynamic thought leaders on the part we must play in attaining gender parity by #EmbracingEquality from a personal, sectorial, and industry-led viewpoint. This will be beneficial for both women and their male counterparts.

Worldwide, “minority” groups have seen some of the most horrific treatment ever. Millions of people around the world have been negatively and permanently impacted by acts of racism, colorism, and sexism.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is arguably the cruelest treatment meted out to those minorities’ female members. This ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia is considered a violation of human rights against children as it is mainly performed on girls between infancy and 15 years of age.

FGM has risked the lives of over 200 million young women in 30 countries of Africa, according to WHO reports, and Nigeria alone accounts for 10 per cent of global cases. The report identifies Osun state as having the highest prevalence of circumcised women in the country (77 per cent), closely followed by Ebonyi (74 per cent) and Ekiti (72 per cent).

This practice has, over time, been seen to have far-reaching, almost absolute and fatal consequences. These consequences range from complications in childbirth to hemorrhage and death.

Cumulatively, over 2,000 young girls, CBOs, traditional rulers and policymakers participated and benefitted from the programmes in the three states. In addition, about 500,000 Nigerians were reached virtually with information, education and communication materials.

Furthermore, to ensure impactful and scalable results, traditional leaders, government and community leaders were engaged in dialogue sessions to advocate for the abandonment of FGM practices in their various communities.

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