International President of International Inner Wheel, Mrs Oluyemisi Alatise has disclosed that as a result of efforts to stop female genital mutilation around the world, some races have now resorted to secret practices.
Alatise disclosed this to journalists yesterday in a press briefing preceding the Women for Africa Summit being organized by the club, with the theme; touch a heart, which kicks off in Awka.
She said some tribe, especially in the west still believe that if a woman is not circumscised, during child birth, the head of the child will touch her clitoris, and that this will spell trouble for the child, and that the best way to avoid such calamity is to undergo circumcision to remove the woman’s clitoris.
She gave example to a woman who was married into one of the communities in Ogun State(name Withheld), who was almost forced to undergo adult circumcision, as the relatives of his husband believed that anything short of circumcision will bring trouble to the family.
She said a recent survey conducted by its members in about 100 countries of the world showed that the practice is still being held by some races, and that in most cases, it is now done in the secret.
Alatise said the practice is aided by perceived myths being peddled, which are all false.
She said in some places people still believe that a woman would be promiscuous if she is not circumcised, while others held the belief that if a woman is not circumcised until marriage, the head of her children will touch her clitoris during birth, and that breeds calamity for the children.
“All these are not true at all. All those myths are pure falsehood, and the club will continue to champion the abolition of the practice, as well as the travails of the girl child, which is from cradle to old age.
“The girl child is faced with a lot of abuses from birth to old age, and this consist of female genital mutilation at birth, child bride while growing up and even forced labour too, and harmful widowhood practices at old age,” she said.
She said the document titled; Female Privileges and Challenges: Cradle to Old Age has been packaged from its findings, and would be used as a working document to free the girl child from all travails in countries around the world.
Alatise who is the first African international president of the club said the three day summit will dwell mostly on the challenges of women and insecurity. She added that group will through the summit would raise its capital base for a micro credit scheme, which it gives out to indigent women as soft loans to help them overcome hardship.
The group mainly consist of accomplished women with membership strength of over 100,000 from 103 countries around the world, with the sole mission of giving help to indigent women and propagation of women’s well being.