The Root quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the importance of Nigeria’s ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) for all of Africa:
Nigeria’s groundbreaking legislation sends “a powerful signal not only within Nigeria but across Africa,” according to J. Peter Pham, the Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council. Pham said the measure effectively criminalizes a significant percentage of female mutilations on the African continent. “One cannot overestimate the impact of any decision by Nigeria [on the continent],” he told the online news outlet.
“It took a lame duck president and lame duck legislators who don’t have to face voters to undertake something that goes that much against the cultural norms or practices,” Pham told the International Business Times about the timing of the law.
Pham argued that Jonathan had even done a favor for Buhari, who will not have to face a future voter backlash on the controversial issue. “It’s already signed and Buhari can say he’s simply enforcing the laws,” Pham said.