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Engagement of Departmental Heads in Media campaigns to End FGM

By Ali Mohamed

Ali Mohamed is an Anti-FGM campaigner. Here Ali reports how he has engaged reformed cutters, survivors, and departmental heads in Habaswein Sub County, Kenya.

The Media Campaign:

We have engaged the departmental heads to revitalize the fight against FGM in the sub-county. Headteachers of all the secondary schools, police, and local administration were our targets.

Figure 1: Wajir county commissioner addressing sub-county commissioners on FGM in Habaswein
Figure 2: Headteachers in FGM briefing meeting

The headteachers ( matrons) are the second parents at the boarding schools they give guidance and counseling to girls on the impact of FGM, the police officers are there to maintain law and order within the society, therefore the police were there to give us the number of reported cases in Wajir county and how it’s decreasing recently.

Girls are the current survivors back at their home during holidays. The headteachers plan to put more effort into how to educate and rescue their siblings from harmful practice, the police are vigilant on how to handle reported cases of FGM while strictly adhere the constitution of Kenya.

Media Reach:

Wajir community radio has the widest coverage and listeners and has an average listener reach of approximately 500,000 people.

Figure 3: a lady nurse at the Wajir community station radio

The nurse was telling the callers about how innocent girls are dying every day as a result of over bleeding, and how the parents fear to bring their girls to hospitals.

Our success:

The event was successful as I have engaged the team in planning, implementation, and evaluation of the campaign.

Figure 4: female cutters invited to the country commissioner meeting

The reformed cutters are currently role models in society. Initially, they would hideaway, but recently they do roadshows to educate people on how to stop the harmful practice, also other stakeholders helped me to assist the reformed cutters with small businesses in the exchange of the cutting business which was their daily bread.

Strong messages:

The strong message that came out through the media project was that identification is the main challenge. We currently have issues in tracking when and where the cutting is done.

The challenge of taking girls across the border to Somalia for cutting and in the neighboring refugee camps where people take their girls for cutting

Next time…

We would continue to strengthen girl’s awareness against FGM. This remains very vital in the fight against FGM:

55 girls reported their parents’ preparation for FGM since last season to our rural anti-FGM agents.

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley is working with GMC as a Website News Editor, compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM across Africa. Alongside this work, she is running The Women’s Vinyl Project which empowers women and girls through singing and music and is helping to end FGM.