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Liberian Three year ban on FGM inspiring End-FGM campaigners to speak out through the Media  

By Mrs. Phils Varfee,

Stop FGM (Cutting) and Save Our Future

This group involves journalists, human rights actors, and disabled persons who attended the FGM training in Foya with the armed of ensuring the issue of FGM is abolished. The issue of FGM has and continued to affect our women and girls negatively, especially in rural communities like ours where the practice is very strong.

The government of Liberia recently imposed a three-year ban on the practice of FGM; this we see to be a plus to this global fight.

In this light, we invited Boakai Yamah Coordinator, He for She Crusaders, Pas. Alfred Lamina Liberia Council of Churches and Mrs. Beatrice Kanneh from the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) to intensify our awareness campaign through these media engagements.

These radio shows have increased sensitisation for our people thus having grate impact on ending FGM by discussing the danger or risks associated with FGM to women and girls in our district.

How successful was your media project (please include at least 2 pieces of evidence to support this show’s impact and add visual captions/ quotes)

Stop FGM (Cutting) and Save Our Future 2nd Show @ Radio Kintoma 101.1 MHz. 

We had a successful campaign during this Easter season because things went as planned and there was a lot of positive feedback from our community. We received several calls from the public with mixed reactions to the awareness with the majority supporting the fight seeking to end FGM after outlining some of the effects the practice has on our women and girls including our society as well.

Liberian reactions to end FGM campaigns: Mr. Joseph Kabbah of Voinjama City, “this is something that we have practiced for several years and I don’t think that it will ever change; you people are not even to be discussing such issue on… Share on X Liberian reactions to end FGM campaigns: Mary Tamba of Lawalazu town, “some of us are victims of FGM today because good men can come our way but they don’t stay only because of this and some of us were very small when they took us there… Share on X Liberian reactions to end FGM campaigns: Josephine Morris of LPMC Community, “The best thing we can do for our girls is to send them to school if we love them”.  Share on X

These radio talk shows have widened the debate amongst community members on the issue of FGM especially those health implications for our females.

Have you encountered any difficulties in the planning or execution of your media project?

  • One major challenge was that people still think that issue of FGM should not be discussed in public.
  • Some see it as disrespect to their culture 
  • Some were also concerned about why we are not talking about same marriage 
  • Some guests wanting to backup from the radio shows was another challenge

Strong messages

Liberian reactions to end FGM campaigns: Augustine kalon: “This is a campaign that should involve all”. Share on X Liberian reactions to end FGM campaigns: Francis Ziamah: “The issue of FGM is not Biblical so it must end”. Share on X Liberian reactions to end FGM campaigns: Yassah Kpakolu: “These days, people are only doing it for money-making”. Share on X

Next time:

  • Increase the number of radio shows
  • Identify and Invite survivals to tell their stories
  • Invite midwives to talk more about the health implications
  • Develop radio messages in all local languages 
  • Conduct town hall meetings

Estimate audience reach:

Our team targeted approximately 110,000 people of the mixed sector from two main districts including Voinjama and Quardu Gboni districts as well as Guinean towns that are bordering with Liberia

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.