Nigeria: New Law Bans Female Genital Mutilation

Nigeria’s outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed a nationwide law banning female genital mutilation (FGM). The practice of FGM is widely considered a violation of girls’ human rights that can cause serious physical and mental health problems such as “infertility, maternal death, infections and the loss of sexual pleasure”, according to 2014 data from the United Nations. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 25% of Nigerian women and more than 125 million women globally have undergone FGM. Advocates are hopeful that Nigeria’s FGM ban will influence cultural attitudes about the practice within Nigeria and across Africa.  

Compiled from: D’Urso, Joseph, FGM campaigners-Nigeria ban welcome, but work not over, Thomson Reuters Foundation (May 29, 2015); Topping, Alexandra, Nigeria’s female genital mutilation ban is important precedent, say campaigners, The Guardian (May 29, 2015).