Nigerian Men speak up on FGM in Radio interview

By Geoffrey Broderick

Geoffrey Broderick anti-FGM campaigner creates a jingle and runs radio shows in the local dialect leading up to the international day of zero tolerance towards FGM. The jingle on Female Genital Mutilation was played on pyramid FM 103.5 Kano from the 3rd February to 6th February.

Male doctors educate the male population on FGM

 I had an interview with Dr. Awalu Shuabu of Abdullaullahi Wase Hospital popularly known as Nasaarawa hospital Kano who is a Gynecologist. He spoke about FGM, the meaning, a brief history of FGM practices in different countries and the different parts of the Nigerian states, why it should be stopped, reasons, and the benefit of not being an FGM victim. 

It is powerful to have a professional doctor on the radio talking about FGM as a harmful practice because many men and fathers will listen closely to what a male doctor is saying about FGM. 

Giving women a voice

On the 5th of February, 2021 I hosted Ruayyah Yahaya Muhammad who happens to be a gender and social advisor SFH-ICHSSA3 Kano.  I had to bring in a woman to draw and get the attention of fellow women listening who may not be comfortable asking a man questions linked to this sensitive topic. 

We gathered questions from the women showing they hear all that is been said by a fellow woman, explaining how barbaric the practice of FGM is, she also mentioned why the practice is bad and why it is been discouraged. 

All angles of a woman’s perspective shared

The 6th February 2021 is the day of Zero tolerance day of FGM 2021. On this day I had 3 Doctors in the studio:  Dr. Rahila Muktar and Dr. Maryam Sa’id Awal who is a Gynecologist, and Dr. Fatima Zingina a Hematologist Aminu Kano teaching hospital. These women doctors spoke extensively from all angles of a woman’s perspective on FGM.

The media project was very successful because of the level of participation. We had callers asking questions both male and female.  The calls kept coming in. I wish we had more time to take the calls and read text messages. The guests did well in their explanations, they took their time to make sure the listeners could understand the serious nature of FGM.

Lessons and success 

The strong message that came out was that some people are just getting to know that the practice is not a good one at all and the effect from a caller who referred with his sister who is no longer interested in getting married again. Also, I came to realize that a lot are willing to open up if given the opportunity to do so. 

The doctors gave instances where they discover women have undergone FGM and they didn’t know it.  Women also wanted to know if FGM could be the cause of some of the things they feel. One guest called to say he thinks this may be why his sister never wanted to get married again due to a lack of feelings.

 Linkages establish or strengthened is the confidence given to the audience and the guest willing to come and do it again, the level of participation was encouraging as well.

Next time…

 We would take the campaign out to communities and perform community service, advocacies, print posters, banners, and share handbills with messages written in simple Hausa language with pictorial illustration, roadshows.

Infect I have a team of doctors who are will to join me to conduct instant examinations to determine if women are FGM victims and deliver treatment depending on complications.  I would also like to place jingles with announcements to the community where this will take place, make a program to get feedback for the people, invite both radio, TV, and print media to cover the activities, and to help in amplifying it.

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.