A big win for women’s rights

Nigerian president has signed a bill banning the practice of female genital mutilation. In Nigeria, UNICEF reports that 27 percent of women and girls have suffered a partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. Practitioners defend the practice arguing that it is a ‘traditional rite of passage’, even though it is considered a form of violence against women which is linked to several medical problems. The bill has triggered optimism, even though defenders argued that legislation is not enough to eradicate the practice which is a deeply-rooted custom. The way the new law will be implemented and enforced is essential to determine its effectiveness. In addition, educational outreach will ensure women health rights and freedom from violence.

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