Female Genital Mutilation Outlawed In Nigeria

In a major win for girls and humanity, former Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck didn't leave office before taking a historic step in women’s rights and protections. Goodluck signed into law last month a ban on female genital mutilation, a practice that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. The measure was one of his last official acts before handing the country over to Nigeria's new President, Muhammadu Buhari. 

It is estimated that 125 million girls and women globally are living with the effects of FGM, some 19.9 million of those are Nigerian women.

"As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria’s decision carries significant weight, but it would need to be implemented effectively" Mary Wandia, FGM programme manager of Equality Now, told The Guardian. “With such a huge population, Nigeria’s vote in favour of women and girls is hugely important,” she said. “We hope, too, that the other African countries which have yet to ban FGM – including Liberia, Sudan and Mali, among others – do so immediately to give all girls a basic level of protection.”
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