Wednesday, July 22, 2009
July 22, 2009 NIAMEY, Niger, 14 April 2009 Ten villages in western Niger have decided to put an end to female genital mutilation or cutting (also known as FGM/C), publicly calling all inhabitants in the Tillabery region to give up this practice, which threatens girls lives. We have decided to definitively put an end to female genital mutilation in our villages and to continue sensitizing neighbouring villages so they also give up the practice, declared M. Babobou Pana, leader of one of the villages. UNICEF is extremely pleased with this public declaration to end female genital mutilation in this part of Niger, as it is seen by Nigerien authorities as a severe violation of the rights of women and young girls, said UNICEF Representative in Niger Akhil Iyer. Genital mutilation has a negative impact on their reproductive health and their ability to go to school. This public declaration is an act of courage and an important step forward for the country.