Ending FGM Practice in Enugu State – July 2023

Dr Chris Ugwu, Executive Director for the Society of Improvement for Rural People (SIRP), harnessed GMC’s platform to amplify their ongoing work to end FGM in the Enugu State of Nigeria.

SIRP organised training for youth, journalists and Community Gatekeepers in Enugu State aimed at soliciting support for an end to FGM in Enugu State, especially with regards to them using their platforms for this dissemination. SIRP organized Television and radio programs, which reached an estimated 1,010,000 viewers and listeners in Enugu State. These programs were aimed at further raising awareness about the need for FGM to be ended in Enugu State. The activities included:

  • 1) A two-day training of 10 FGM Youth Champions on the use of Social Media to raise the profile of Anti-FGM activities at the grassroots in Enugu State. Participants were taken through the principles of how to communicate about FGM. This interactive training formally inducted youth social media advocates into #EnuguYouthEndFGM

  • 2) A buy-in/Sensitisation and Awareness creation meeting with 15 Traditional and religious leaders drawn from Akwuke Community, an FGM/C prevalent community in Enugu State. Traditional and religious leaders play a vital role in Enugu society, where they are often the main custodians of cultural and traditional practices such as FGM, hence the need to engage with these traditional institutions in Akwuke to promote gender equality and respect for women and girls.
Barrister Somtochukwu and team eliciting the cooperation and collaboration of the Traditional Rulers of Akwuke Community to end FGM.

  • A two-day training of 10 journalists from mainstream media houses in Enugu State, titled “FGM media Workshop”. The workshop provided journalists with the relevant knowledge, skills and positive attitudes around ending FGM practice in Enugu State.
The Executive Director, Dr. Chris Ugwu, sharing his thoughts with media persons on how to be effective in delivering impactful messages to End FGM

The workshop also facilitated contributions from FGM survivors on how journalists could access information or how to reach out to interview people. This included ways to interview people who have been cut, encouraging those willing to their stories about the adverse effects of the practice on them (emotionally, physically and otherwise).

Our media project has indeed been a huge success. We say this because; currently we have community members who are now highly aware and knowledgeable about the demerits of FGM. This knowledge has since been translated into their commitment to ending this practice.

Dr Chris Ugwu

Miss Chinenye is a Journalist from Enugu State who knew little about using the media to end FGM. She thereafter took part in SIRP’s knowledge-sharing sessions and was exposed to the importance of using the media to end the practice in this generation. She made a commitment to ensure that she would use the media to end FGM. In doing this, she presently hosts radio programs targeted at ending FGM in Enugu State. Furthermore, she uses her social media platforms to advocate for an end to FGM. This is indeed one great story of change.