200 million women experience genital mutilation annually – Expert

Dr. Ibe Ifeakandu, Head of Department, Public Law at the Nigerian Advanced Legal Studies, has disclosed that about 200 million women have experienced female genital mutilation globally.
She also explained that 99 percent of the estimated 40 million people trafficked each year were women and girls.
Ifeakandu made the revelation while presenting a paper during a two-day workshop organised by the EU and UN in Kano State as a precursor to end gender-based violence in Nigeria.
She observed that a number of factors were responsible for the preponderance of gender-based violence.
According to her such factors include; socio-cultural norms, Feminization of Poverty, Religious Beliefs and Practices as well as Legal issues.
She observed with dismay that gender-based violence is a global phenomenon, adding that 44 per cent of girls are married off before they turn 18 and 18 per cent are married off before the age of 15.
According to her, Nigeria has the highest number of child bride marriages with a disturbing figure of about 3.5 million and the 11 highest prevalence rate of child marriage globally, adding that 73 percent of women in the country are married before the age of18.
She noted that sexual and reproductive health of women is the most abused right of women and girls in the country.
She explained that culture and religion sometimes constitute a serious impediment to women’s right to sexual health.

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