Phase One Report On a One Year Media Project to end FGM

Phase One Report On a One Year Media Project to end FGM

One year funded project to End FGM : Funded by Wallace Global Funds,

Report on media and Community campaigns to ending Female Genital Mutilation in Ebonyi State and the Cross River State of Nigeria covering 1st Feb 2021 – 6th June 2021.

About:

Organisation:- Center for Social Value and Early Childhood Development.

Project Manager:- Gift Abu.

Reporting period:- Phase One Feb-June 2021.

Partners:- Wallace and GMC.

Project location:- Ebonyi State and Cross River State.

Project type:- Media and Community.

Total project duration:- One year.

Covid-19 means more girls are at risk:

The media and Community activities to ending FGM/C started with a stronger spirit taking into consideration the effects of the covid-19 pandemic which creates room for some persons to hide under the pandemic to practice FGM/C.

The campaigns started with:

Media campaigns:

16 radio interviews/Drama the main focus was creating more awareness using the radio which is the commonest means of reaching out to many audiences in the local communities and critical stakeholders to dialogue and it was a live phone-in programmes.
The panel was made up of those from the medical, legal, human rights, traditional leaders, religious leaders, students, youths, and survivors.

What was discussed?

Issues on the table were the role of men in ending FGM/C, How FGM/C social norm should be declared as a forbidden traditional norm that should be punishable by the traditional custodian on anyone that cut any girl or woman which will include anyone with such knowledge but refused to inform the government or the community.

Caller engagement:

The callers called in to stress that the laws and punishment can only be effective when the government allowed and empower the traditional leaders to do that.
Other callers were of the views that the TBA’S, Health works, Churches, Traditional leaders should jointly come together to form a common monitoring and reporting network were from the point of birth to child naming ceremony and traditional blessing or giving indigenous registration documentation/certification. This process will help to check and put an end to FGM/C.

Other callers said it needs to be a practical approach and not talk on the table which cannot yield results but seeking more powers to the traditional leaders and also advised that traditional leaders that cannot end FGM should be dismissed.

The program was carried out in local languages, pigin English.
The focus was on the right of the girls and women, monitoring FGM, medical implications, When to speak out, Whom and how to report FGM cases. The program also involved getting non fgm/c media persons/ presenters involved in anchoring the program which helps to encourage most of them to go for research to know more about fgm/c with the good news of having 7 non fgm/c presents picking the challenge to talk on fgm/c on their programs.

More media activities included:

  • 65 Radio Jingles amplification was done in the various native languages of the people and the English language.
  • Six Radio drama was another area that draws the minds of many listeners and we received many calls as many people seek to know more about the program while 51 persons called to volunteer in their respective communities.
  • Two persons called to give financial support to print out local handbills.
  • Ten Television interviews, the program was goal was to attract the minds of the stakeholders mostly those close to the Government, and the same topics as it relates to the radio interviews were discussed.
  • Communities Awareness campaigns focus on the schools, churches, Markets, and football activities and getting stakeholders to be involved directly in the campaigns. The team reaches out to churches, schools, small groups meetings to enlighten the people on the dangers and the law.

Youth support:

The younger groups were so supportive of the campaigns.
The local languages of the people were used and critical stakeholders were also reached with over a million people.

What we would do differently:

The project could introduce comedy having listened from those using smartphones and the younger generation.
The comedy video and audio attract thousands of both young and old sharing the message.

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.