BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
A Nigerian and founder of an Non-Governmental Organisation, Value Female Network (VFN), Dr. Costly Aderibigbe has been elected as the Executive Secretary of Global Youth Consortium Against Female Genital Mutilation under the joint programme of the United Nations Population Fund and United Nations Children Fund.
The position, which is the apex seat of the consortium, was keenly contested by Aderibigbe and a Senegalese, Hyaceinthe Coly.
Following her election, Coly would now act as deputy to Aderibigbe.
Other executive members elected are Rahinatu Ibrahim from Ghana and Awwal Issa Rachid from the Republic of Niger for Programmes, Monitoring and Evaluation; Leshan kereto and Doris Ikechukwu for Resources Mobilization and partnership and Tonny Olela for Administration.
Maryam Mohammed Bin Samer and Esha Mohammed are for Communication and Advocacy.
Speaking during the official launch of the consortium, Aderibigbe reiterated the mandate of the Consortium to end FGM by 2030 and highlighted the need for head of states and other diplomats to involve youth in roundtable dialogue on social changes.
She said, “There is no better time than now to involve young people if we are serious about ending FGM in this generation.
“UNFPA and UNICEF, which are the United Nation Institutions that guide against harmful traditional practices, including FGM, have over the years worked actively together under a collaborated scheme known as the ‘Joint Programme to End FGM’.
“This scheme, with the sole intent of achieving a world free of FGM, has mapped out diverse action plans to achieve this and it has mirrored different phases of the programme in the past decade. However, recent data reveals that if FGM must end by 2030, the progress has to be faster.
“To accelerate progress as well as reach the demography of the most affected population which is the young people, the Global Youth Consortium against FGM was birthed. Beyond being the core strength of the UNFPA, youth inclusion is beyond a strategic but more result-oriented for the United Nations,” she added.
Aderibigbe, through VFN has been mobilising young Nigerians on aggressive social media campaigns against FGM.
She holds state leaders accountable and drives grassroots initiatives that have been helpful in eliminating FGM in several communities.
Aderibigbe believes every girl is costly and continues to engage over a thousand girls annually via a Regional Adolescent Boot Camp supported by UNFPA.