The 6th of February has been recognised as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation since 2012. The aim of this day is to amplify and direct the efforts on the elimination of this practice.
This year, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme’s theme is Her Voice: Her Future – Investing in Survivors-Led Movements to End Female Genital Mutilation.
The Global Media Campaign supported 10 countries with Direct Action Grant funding to run campaigns for Zero Tolerance Day, with the focus on supporting survivors of FGM, prioritizing investments in survivor-led initiatives, centred around empowerment, agency and access to essential services.
Read on to see some of the campaigns carried out in these countries:
Several anti-FGM radio and television programs across took place across Port Loko, and a large parade commenced in celebration of Zero Tolerance day, led by the Amazonian Initiative Sierra Leone.
Fit for Future Kenya had a successful day in Tharaka Nithi County. County Representatives for Gender, the Anti-FGM Board, State Law Office and survivors were all in attendance in recognition of Zero Tolerance Day.
The Child Protection Network Lagos elaborated on child safeguarding policies and amplified the theme ‘the Rights of the Girl child’, as well challenges faced by FGM survivors.
Furthermore, The Nigerian organisation CESVED had a TV interview at CRBC station with Mrs Arit Bassey who is a child safeguarding officer and Mr. Ekeng Edet, the immediate past Special Assistant to the Cross River State Governor on Community Matters. The discussed the role of survivors and ways that the cut could be curbed in the state.
A successful TV campaign took place on Zero Tolerance Day, hosted by Yamou Mbaye. She addressed the religious and traditional leaders defending FGM.
Mbaye questioned them on why we must defend the actions of our forefathers; The reason they practiced the barbaric act of FGM is to reduce a girl’s sexual feelings which is very wrong and unjust to the girl child as a human being . Mbaye urged religious leaders to end the practise as it does much more harm than good.
Somali Journalist Ubah Jamal Mohamed hosted a panel discussion about the role of the joint campaign of women and religious scholars in recognition of Zero Tolerance Day.
This Panel Discussion was attended by Sheikh Abdullahi Farah Makhluuk, who is the secretary of the Islamic Affairs Council in Jigjiga and Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Hassan, one of the religious scholars of the Somali region, and Mama Maryam Osman, one of the Somali mothers.
“I would like to say to society in general, especially women and mothers, that female genital mutilation was not something that the culture, religion, morals, ethics, and conscience of a human being was willing and advocating to do, because the girl who is subjected to female genital mutilation is like a murdered girl.” – Ubah Jamal Mohamed
Congratulations to all our grassroots campaigners for bringing attention to the importance of ending FGM this week. We look forward to supporting further campaigns to relay this message for as long as it takes.
To support the crucial work of our #FrontlineEndingFGM campaigners, donate towards our Direct Action Grants at https://globalmediacampaign.org/donate/