The practice of female circumcision is widely known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Nigeria in the past had the highest absolute number of cases of FGM in the world accounting for about one quarter of the estimated 115-130 million circumcised women in the world. 

 FGM is practiced in about 28 African countries as well as in a few scattered communities in other parts of the world. It is one of the most serious forms of violence against the girl child/woman and is practiced in Nigeria. 

The practice is founded in traditional beliefs and societal pressure to conform. The government of Nigeria in the last decade recognized the practice as harmful to children and women and have embarked on corrective measures, aimed at addressing the end of the practice openly and energetically, through the formulation of policies programmes, legislation and behavioral change that has currently impact reduction in prevalence. 

I am very happy to say that the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill sponsored by the Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba has been passed by the Senate.The bill seeks to prohibit female circumcision or genital mutilation, forceful ejection from home and harmful widowhood practices.The bill also prohibits abandonment of spouse, children and other dependents without sustenance, battery and harmful traditional practices. It is also intended to eliminate violence in private and public life and provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims of violence, and punishment of offenders. The bill equally prohibits economic abuse, forced isolation and separation from family and friends, substance attack, depriving persons of their liberty, incest, indecent exposure, among others.

This is certainly good news!

Comment on this Post


Dear Adanna,

Thank you so much for sharing this great success. It is a huge step forward for this bill to be passed in the Senate. Thanks for sharing the news.

Sincerely, Alyssa Rust 

Dear Adanna,

Your report here on this new Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill is so much more complete than the bits of news that have arrived across the ocean from regular news systems. It was reported quite widely (but for a very short time) that a bill had passed making FGM illegal. The extent of this Bill, that it makes illegal so many aspects of violence agains women, is such a celebration, and so important for us all to know. No doubt it will continue to be a tremendous amount of work to put into effect, but that it names so many kinds of violence and injustice, is unparalleled. There are many who do not believe that "tradition" can be changed. This proves otherwise, and it inspires many everywhere that there is such success this year in Nigeria. Women here learning of this Bill celebrate for women and girls in Nigeria, and are encouraged that all is possible.

In sisterhood,