About 4.3 million girls are presently at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with the number expected to rise to 68 million by 2030 if not given the deserving attention to curb the dangerous trend, according to the latest report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The UNFPA Deputy Representative to Nigeria, Erika Golson, disclosed this at a UNFPA/ ESARO FGM Hackathon and launch of the SMART RR mobile application event in Abuja.
Golson, said conflict, issues of climate change, rising poverty and inequality continue to hinder efforts to transform gender and social morals that underpin this harmful practices and disrupt the ones that help protect girls and women.
She explained that the UNFPA joint programme with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation is one of the largest global and national programmes to accelerate the abandonment of this harmful traditional practice and the right of women and girls, adding that this programme has set a global movement through its innovative strategies to eliminate FGM.
Speaking on the launched App, the Deputy Representative added “that the launch of SMART RR mobile application to address this menace is timely as it is a technology-based application about survivors, different healthcare providers, social workers, to confidentially report on cases, incidents of GBV, female genital mutilation, other health related issues.”
While giving an update on the mobile application, the founder of Big Family 360 foundation and also the innovator of SMART RR mobile application, Mr. Samuel Dirug explained that the app is basically designed to improve access to gender-based violence and FGM services across Nigeria.
He said: “What prompted the creation of this app, is that women and girls in north-eastern part of Nigeria are always shy to report cases of GBV and FGM but through this application, their voices will be heard.so far, the Smart RR application has recorded around 329 cases and most of these cases have been rendered the various services from service providers within their locations”.
He explained to stakeholders at the event while reiterating commitment to support the efforts towards the fight against FGM and GBV, maintained that fighting FGM and GBV is every one’s business.