Media has the power to promote a positive change in behaviour towards women, Nigeria

Media has the power to promote a positive change in behaviour towards women, Nigeria

By Ademola Adebisi

Ademola Adebisi is an anti-FGM campaigner that hosted a radio show in Nigeria against FGM. The show declared FGM is a human rights violation and is keen to work towards changing the negative behavior towards women and girls.

International Women’s Day

The 2021 IWD focuses on a tremendous effort by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women,

“Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”,

The flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs.

To uphold women’s rights and fully leverage the potential of women’s leadership in pandemic preparedness and response, the perspectives of women and girls in all of their diversity must be integrated into the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes in all spheres and at all stages of pandemic response and recovery.

Media’s role in ending FGM

In achieving an FGM-free generation in Nigeria and the world, the impact of media outreach and sensitization can’t be over-emphasized. Media play a crucial role in the work towards the abandonment of FGM because they contribute not only to disseminating information regarding the practice but also to influencing people’s perception of the subject itself.

FGM is a complex issue that involves particularly sensitive themes such as sexual and reproductive health, the role and status of girls and women in society, and more widely the concept of gender equality, at times religion, different faiths, and above all human rights of the girls and women.

The media will promote positive changes in behavior, allow girls and women who have been subjected to FGM to speak out to show that change is possible and that certain girls and women have already made changes, to encourage people who are still reluctant to take a step to abandon the practices of FGM in our generation.

In our media and school campaign, more emphases were on the right of the Girl Child, FGM abandonment, FGM being a violation of human rights, and rape.

Who was involved

  1. Busayo Soyebo, An FGM Activist and a Girl Child Right Advocates:
    Reason: She has been an Activist and an Advocate for the girl child over the years. She’s a strong Advocate fighting to EndFGM in Osun State and a Graduate of the GMC academy.
  2. Thomson Taiwo, A media Expert, and an Advocate
    Reason: Media personality who has engaged the media in standing against all forms of Violence against Women and the Girl Child
  3. Ogunleye Adefunke, A social worker, Child Rights Advocate,
    Reason: She a strong Advocate for the Protection of the Girl Child. Her presence is very high on media platforms. She’s has been on the field during Covid-19 to help young girls who are victims of Rape, Violence, and survivor of FGM.
  4. Mrs Toyin Adelowokan, A Health Worker (Nurse) she is the FGM Desk officer at the state ministry of health
  5. Ishaniyi Ireoluwa, A social worker, Child Rights Advocate,
    Reason: She a strong Advocate for the Protection of the Girl Child. Her presence is very high on media platforms. She is a public health expert.
  6. Adebayo Deborah, A social worker, an FGM activist.
    Reason: She a strong Advocate for the Protection of the Girl Child.

The success of the Media Project:

Three different radio were used, an online digital radio(Osun Digital Radio) OSBC radio station, and Rave 91.7 FMthis made our social media reach higher.
Calls came in from different locations during and after the program.
The calls are the MOVs that people listen to the program, it also shows the impact of the media advocacy program in Osun State.
Our secondary school activity on EndFGM at the Baptist Girls School Osogbo resulted in us setting up Girls Health Club

Strong messages that came out of the Media activity

  • FGM is a human rights violation
  • It is a global public health challenge
  • Girls and women must be protected and leave uncut

What to do differently if we were to carry out this activity again…

Do adequate preparation as regards online adverts
Shared activity fliers on different platform of social media
Get more professionals on board
We produced a jingle in both English and Yoruba which was aired on radio for days
FGM awareness media graphic was produced and shared on Twitter by me @VARCENigeria and also on other social media platforms.
See activity pictures attached

Ruth Harley

Ruth is an opera singer collaborating with women in Kenya using indigenous music to end FGM. She is compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM.