The Minister of Social Affairs and Microfinance, Véronique Tognifodé, has reassured the public on the nation’s commitment to combating Female Genital Mutations (FGM).
Tognifodé has thus called on the FGM perpetrators to be denounced.
FGM refers to any non-medical intervention that involves the partial or entire removal of the female external genitalia or any other lesion of the female genitalia.
It is a violation of girls’ and women’s rights, with irreversible socio-health consequences for some. Excision is the most common form of FGM in Benin.
Despite the several legislative measures that prohibit this destructive practice and the various awareness-raising initiatives carried out by the government, its partners, and non-governmental organizations, the harmful practice is unfortunately still firmly established in many of its communities.
The minister is calling for strict adherence to the law, the early condemnation of the offenders and accomplices of this practice, which has major consequences on the victims, to the appropriate authorities.
Via a statement, she asked local authorities, religious leaders, traditional leaders, opinion leaders, and family heads to become more conscious of what is at risk and to invest more in putting a stop to this violation of women’s rights.