TWEET CONFERENCE SCRIPT: “Collaborating With Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAS) To Educate Their Clients About FGM/C“

Good evening. Welcome to today’s tweet conference. I am @VARCENigeria, your anchor, and my co-anchors are @mbaoyii and @robinson4eva …#EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

  1. Today, we shall be focusing on the topic “COLLABORATING WITH TRADITIONAL BIRTH ATTENDANTS (TBAs) TO EDUCATE THEIR CLIENTS ABOUT FGM/C” #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls
  2. FGM/C stands for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. FGM/C refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies FGM/C into 4 types. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. Type 1: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy). #endcuttinggirls

 

  1. Type 2: partial or total removal of clitoris and labia minora, with or without excision of & labia majora (excision). #endcuttinggirls

 

  1. Type 3: narrowing the vaginal opening by appositioning labia minora or labia majora, with/without excision of clitoris (infibulation) #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. Type 4: unclassified:all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. cauterization. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

10a. The centuries-old practice of FGM/C is a social norm, #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

10b. Buttressed by underlying gender structures &power relations and deeply rooted in tradition. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. In Africa, FGM/C is known to be practiced among certain communities in 29 countries, including Nigeria. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. FGM/C is usually carried out by Traditional Birth Attendant (TBAs) in the community (usually, but not exclusively, women) designated to perform this task #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. Where it is widely practiced, FGM/C is supported by both men and women, usually without question, and anyone that does not follow the norm may face condemnation, harassment and ostracism. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. Where FGM/C is a social norm; it is difficult for families to abandon it without support from the wider community. In these communities, it is often practiced even when it is known to inflict harm upon girls has most of the TBAs are also the custodian of the community tradition. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. Because the perceived social benefits of the practice are deemed higher than its disadvantages. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

  1. The practice of FGM has physical, psychological and psychosocial effects on girls and women. These effects are experienced on short and long-term basis. Although the physical effects are quantifiable and as such given adequate consideration, psychological aspects of the practice cannot be overlooked as it affects the overall mental well-being of girls and women. #endcuttinggirls
  2. Survivors experience immediate trauma which stems from pain, shock and the use of physical force by those performing FGM. It has also been found out that this trauma experienced through FGM stays with women forever. #endcuttinggirls
  3. Sexual phobia: women who have undergone FGM are more likely to experience painful intercourse, reduced sexual satisfaction and sexual desire. Women may also experience embarrassment about intimacy and more difficulty reaching orgasm. This is likely to adversely affect marital relationships, with the women bearing the blame for such occurrences. #endcuttinggirls
  4. Some survivors experience a sense of betrayal by someone emotionally close to them because in many cases, girls are held down by their relatives while FGM is carried out. This could in turn lead to feelings of resentment and withdrawal from such persons. #endcuttinggirls
  5. Flashbacks and sleep disorders: Girls who experienced FGM at relatively older ages are likely to become emotionally unstable at intervals when they read about FGM or remember the process. Images of the scenario are always fresh in their memories leading to inability to concentrate, behavioural and sleep disorders. #endcuttinggirls
  6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD): FGM is very likely to cause various emotional disturbances which could lead to psychiatric disorders such as PTSD. This could also associate with memory dysfunction. #endcuttinggirls
  7. The effects of FGM/C stem beyond the medical effects. We also have Psychological and emotional effects which are rarely considered. #endcuttinggirls
  8. A lady who has undergone female genital mutilation is likely to experience some psychological trauma. Some of which include; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): this is mostly common amongst ladies who can remember their FGM experience. The shock tends to come back to them every time they have a memory of it. #endcuttinggirls
  9. Ladies who have undergone FGM tend to have the same level of shock as adult who were subjected to Child Abuse #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  10. Mood swings: as a lady who has been mutilated reads and learns more about what has been done and it’s possible effects, her mood start to change. From a feeling of hope to hopelessness, etc. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  11. Feeling of worthlessness: a number of people who have not been properly educated on FGM/C related issues tend to make careless remarks as regards the experience and those who have undergone it. These remarks might leave an FGM survivor feeling worthless. As though, a vital part of her has been taken away. #endcuttinggirls
  12. Drawn and untrustful: survivors of FGM/C tend to be drawn and keep to themselves and have a hard time trusting people. This could be due to the fact that those they trusted to protect them have unknowingly inflicted pain and a scar. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  13. Anger: the anger survivors feel towards the cutters and other family members that were involved in the process could, if not attended to, spread and generally make such a person develop anger control issues. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  14. Feeling of guilt, shame and fear: a lady who has been mutilated if not properly educated on the issue can go about carry a feeling of guilt, shame and fear. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  15. Sexual Phobia: this experience can lead to painful sex and cause the lady to develop a sort of phobia to sex. This could in turn take its toll on their spousal relationships. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  16. Depression and suicidal ideas: often times ladies who have been mutilated and have not had a chance to discuss this experience with specialists or anyone at all, tend to fall into depression which if not controlled, could birth suicidal thoughts. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  17. Understanding that FGM/C in some culture is a norm necessitates the need for partnership with relevant stakeholders. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls
  18. Also, identifying the right stakeholders and engaging them successfully is pivotal to #endcuttinggirls as it sets the tone for the partnership that can help reverse this trend @endcuttinggirls
  19. Asides traditional rulers and community leaders, TBAs are major stakeholders that cannot be left behind in achieving an FGM/C free generation. #endcuttinggirls

36: Traditional birth attendants are women and men in the communities and villages who help pregnant women deliver their babies, and at most times, gain knowledge of the practice from their fore-fathers. #endcuttinggirls

37: they are the first port of call for health issues relating to women and children in rural setting #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

38: TBAs form a major number of the local performers (circumcisers) of FGM/C in their localities #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

39: The role of the TBAs in providing available health care to pregnant and non-pregnant women in the communities cannot be overemphasized. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

40: The circle of TBAs remain one through which can speed up our reach and aid our goals to #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

41: Partnering and engaging TBAs would be effective when we clearly define how they can help to implement FGM/C abandonment in their various local communities. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

42: we can engage them by doing an awareness program for TBAs, highlight the complications of FGM/C and encourage them to become advocates of FGM/C abandonment within and outside their communities. #endcuttinggirls  @endcuttinggirls

43: TBAs can function in line with their already-defined roles as advocates and law enforcers. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

44: As custodians of culture and highly-revered people in their communities, when TBAs become advocates of FGM/C abandonment, it gives the message “divine credibility” #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

45: Being advocates erases the doubt of whether FGM/C is still acceptable in such communities. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

46: They will also lead discussions in the community which helps to banish the culture of silence around the practice #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

47: TBAs can also share experiences and events that have occurred in their line of practice about FGM/C. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

47b: In 2016, according to a report in Sun newspaper, TBAs practitioners in Ebonyi state made open confessions and dropped their blades with which they cut the genitals of female children and embraced the call against FGM #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

47c: This is a clear sign that when the TBAs are collaborated on this, it will speed up the abandonment of FGM/C #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

48: According to Mrs Gloria Okorie a TBA from IVO in Ebonyi state, ““I thought I was doing female children well when I was cutting their female organ after birth. I thought doing that will make them complete and bear children when they grow up” #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

49: “I have been telling people that I no longer do it. Even people are still coming to me to circumcise their female children and I use to tell them no, I don’t do it anymore. And if I see anyone doing it, I will personally report the person to the police #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

49b: The above confession from Mrs Gloria shows that the collaboration with TBAs can’t be overemphasized and will yield desired result. #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

50: When TBAs function as law enforcers, they help ensure that community members respect the country and community’s law in protecting the rights of the girl child, from discrimination and violation #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

51: They can also be empowered to set up and oversee bodies that would monitor the activities of circumcisers in their communities, to ensure that the girl child is no longer subjected to FGM/C #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

 

52: Organize a capacity building program for the community health extension workers alongside TBAs this will enhance their life saving skills #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

53: Advice the TBAs to make sure women are educated about FGM/C when they visit for delivery of new born and health care #endcuttinggirls @endcuttinggirls

54: We share this belief that when TBAs stop practicing FGM/C that the people will have no other choice than to abandon the practice because most. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

We have come to the end of today twitter conference. It’s question time. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls

 

 

 

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