Public declaration for the abandonment of traditional harmful practices: 20 villages of Makalondi region commit to enforce children’s and women’s rights in Niger.
On May 15, twenty villages of the rural area of Makalondi publicly committed to abandon Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early and forced marriage, abductions, exploitation of children, school dropout and rural exodus.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Public declaration for the abandonment of traditional harmful practices: 20 villages of Makalondi region commit to enforce children’s and women’s rights in Niger.
Press release:Public declaration for the abandonment of traditional harmful practices:20 villages of Makalondi region commit to enforce children’s andwomen’s rights in Niger.Niamey (Niger), 15 May 2013- On May 15, twenty villages of the rural area ofMakalondi publicly committed to abandon Female Genital Mutilation (FGM),early and forced marriage, abductions, exploitation of children, school dropoutand rural exodus.The commitment ceremony which took place in Makalondi, was presided overby the First Lady, Malika Issoufou, and attended by representatives from theGovernment, Members of Parliament, representatives of internationalorganizations, religious leaders and traditional chiefs, as well as other guests.Through their representatives at the ceremony, the 13 654 inhabitants of these20 villages, mainly of the Gourmantché community, publicly expressed their“unanimous commitment to abandon all harmful practices, including FemaleGenital Mutilation”. Each village was represented by two men, two women, twoyouths, two religious leaders and one traditional chief. ,This public statement is part of a strategy aimed at promoting theabandonment of harmful practices affecting the health and well-being ofchildren and women, based on the belief that community-based protectionfosters children’s development and self-fulfillment. This approach has beenimplemented by the Comité Nigérien sur les Pratiques Traditionnelles(CONIPRAT) since 2007, in collaboration with the Ministry of Population,Promotion of Women and Children’s Protection, with technical and financialsupport from Unicef.Through this innovative approach based on human rights, reproductive healthand the promotion of abandonment of harmful cultural practices, CONIPRATand Unicef strive to foster a change in social norms and behaviour.The First Lady, Malika Issoufou, who embodies the struggle against femalegenital mutilation in Niger, expressed “the wish to see other practitioners followthe path of the inhabitants of the 20 villages”. According to the Minister ofPromotion of Women’s and Children’s Protection, Maikibi Kadidiatou Dandobi,this ceremony shows the Government’s commitment to ban the practice offemale genital mutilation in Niger, and to contribute to the promotion of a
protective environment for women’s and children’s rights in the country. Sheexplained: “this firm commitment has already been turned into action, with alaw voted in 2003 to ban Female Genital Mutilations, which has been enforcedsince 2007”.For Unicef Deputy Representative, Isselmou Boukhary, this ceremonysymbolizes a major shift in the struggle against violence in Niger. He reiteratedthe availability of the agency to “support the Government and to collaboratewith other partners in the development of initiatives designed to implementwomen’s and children’s rights in Niger”.Female Genital Mutilation is performed on women and girls from 0 to 15 yearsof age and consists in the cutting, partial or total removal of the external femalegenitalia, potentially leading to serious consequences for health and stronglyaffecting their fundamental rights.In Niger, where these cultural practices are still perpetrated, causing harmfulconsequences for the health and well-being of children and women, the FGMprevalence rate is 2, 2 % and 38% of girls are married before the age of 15.With a prevalence rate of 12%, Tillabéry is the most affected area of Niger.Within Gourmantché communities, the FGM rate was 65% in 2006.For more information, please contact :: Tahirou Gouro, Communication Officer, Unicef Niger; mob: +227 98 8841 41; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Salmey Bebert, Child Protection Specialistt, Unicef Niger; mob: +227 9696 11 19 ; Email : email@example.comField CoField Co