TRANSCRIPT ON “STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY-LEVEL SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FOR MONITORING AND REPORTING FGM/C CASES ON THURSDAY MARCH 22, 2018”

Good evening. Welcome to today’s tweet conference. I am @cydi2k, your anchor, and my co-anchor is @OkorieVictoria4 #EndCuttingGirls

Today, our focus is on “Strengthening community-level surveillance system for monitoring and reporting FGM/C cases” #EndCuttingGirls

FGM/C stands for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. #EndCuttingGirls

FGM/C refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

5a. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies FGM/C into 4 types. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

5b. Type 1: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

5c.Type 2: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

5d. Type 3: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with the creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

5e. Type 4: unclassified: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, pulling, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

It is estimated that over 200 million girls and women worldwide are living with the effects of FGM/C. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

Every year 3 million girls and women are at risk of FGM/C and are therefore exposed to the potential negative health consequences of this harmful practice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

FGM/C has no known health benefits, and those girls and women who have undergone the procedure are at great risk of suffering from its complications throughout their lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

9a. The procedure of FGM/C is painful and traumatic, and is often performed under unsterile conditions by a traditional practitioner who has little knowledge of female anatomy or how to manage possible adverse events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

9b. … Moreover, the removal of or damage to healthy genital tissue interferes with the natural functioning of the body and may cause several immediate and long-term genitourinary health consequences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

The practice of FGM/C – prevalent in 30 countries in Africa and in a few countries in Asia and the Middle East – is now present across the globe due to international migration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls @WHO

The centuries-old practice of FGM/C is a social norm, buttressed by underlying gender structures &power relations and deeply rooted in tradition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s #EndCuttingGirls

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

13a. Where FGM/C is a social norm; it is difficult for families to abandon it without support from the wider community. #EndCuttingGirls

13b. In these communities, it is often practiced even when it is known to inflict harm upon girls because the perceived social benefits of the practice are deemed higher than its disadvantages. #EndCuttingGirls

For more information on basic facts about FGM/C visit www.endcuttinggirls.org or our YouTube Channel for wonderful videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyB8f8IM3k2xTsKNfUZf9wg/videos?view_as=subscriber (Drama, Songs and Documentaries on FGM/C). #EndCuttingGirls

15a. From 2014 to 2017, UNFPA and UNICEF implemented the Phase II of the “UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C Abandonment: Accelerating Change” in Nigeria.  The National FGM/C prevalence in Nigeria is 25% (Nigeria Demographic Health Survey 2013). #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

15b. The Joint Programme took place in 5 States with the highest FGM/C prevalence in Nigeria, namely, Osun (77%), Ebonyi (74%), Ekiti (72%), Imo State (68%) and Oyo (66%).  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

15c. key interventions implemented under the Joint Programme include advocacy, community dialogues, education session, and training of FGM/C Community Champions (FCCs) to conduct small group discussions, and consensus building meetings.  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

15d. As a result of the above interventions in the 5 States, several communities, organized Public Declaration of their decision to abandon FGM/C.  One of the most prominent events took place on 19th June 2017 in the 26 communities in Izzi Clan of Ebony State. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOf7b4qcc6E&t=774s  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

15e. the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme, describes a public declaration/affirmation as a moment of broad social recognition, which shows that most people in the community support abandonment of FGM/C, and most likely will abandon the practice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4tfbEHmSW0&t=474s  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

15f. however, experience from the Joint Programme also shows that “a public declaration does not mean that the declaring village is free from FGM/C; rather it represents a milestone in the process of abandonment because it signals the change in social expectations”.   #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

15g. The Joint Programme has suggested that, after a Public Declaration, there needs to be a process of organized diffusion that ensures the decision spreads rapidly from one community to another and is sustained.  When the decision to abandon becomes sufficiently diffused, the social dynamics that originally perpetuated the practice can serve to accelerate and sustain its abandonment. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

15h. This process of social diffusion is typically led by a critical mass of community members such as volunteers, FGM/C Community Champions (FCCs), Community Based Child Protection Committee (CBCPC), etc.  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

16a. In line with the recommendation of establishing a critical mass to drive the process of social diffusion that UNICEF, established Community Based Child Protection Committee (CBCPC) in the 26 communities in Izzi Clan of Ebonyi State, where Public Declaration was made on 19th June 2017.  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

16b. establishing the CBCPC in Izzi Clan involved 5 key activities, namely, and was implemented by the Ebonyi State Child Protection Committee (CPN), which played a prominent role in securing the Public Declaration in Izzi Clan. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

16c. A consensus building meeting was held with the Traditional Rulers to discuss the need for establishing an education, monitoring, referral and reporting system in the 26 communities to ensure that the new norm of “not cutting” is maintained.  They were also asked to nominate members the core members of the CBCPC.  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

16d. A consensus building meeting with the custodians of custom (Ishiuke) to find out what they are doing to enlighten the people about the abandonment of FGM/C and confirm if the Ishiuke’s have attached any sanctions to anyone breaking the new norm of “not cutting”. They shared samples of the sactions developd by some communities. Samples found at www.endcuttinggirls.org/   #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

16c. CPN trained 104 community volunteers from the 26 communities as members of the CBCPC. The members developed action plans for educating community members about FGM/C, monitoring and tracking all childbirths and traditional marriages to ensure that no girl-child or women is subjected to FGM/C in the 26 communities; #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

16d. CPN visited the 26 communities in Izzi Clan to witness the inauguration of the CBCPCs.  CPN witnessed the orientation of the new members of the CBCPC and addressed their concerns rearding their assignment, and collected the data on the members of the CBCPC. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

16e. CPN holds monthly review/retraining meetings with representatives of the 26 CBCPCs to discuss matters arising from their activities; review and collect their reports, discuss their challenges in the field and propose solutions; and also conduct refresher training based on need.  This is an ongoing process. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

17a. On 6th March 2018, a team from UNICEF (Enugu, Abuja and Senegal) visited Amegu, the ancenstral home of the Izzi Clan, to meet with members of the CBCPC’s from three communities (Amegu, Amachi and Okpitumo) to learn about their work in the communities. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

17b. In addition to the CBCPC member, others present were Eze Fidelis Nwonumara, Eze Nnodo II of Amegu Community, Chairman of Izzi Clan Traditional Rulers Forum and Ishiuke Ogbedege Nkwuda, Chief Custodian of Izzi Culture.  They were the ones that signed the public declaration of FGM/C abandonment in Izzi Clan. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

17b. During the visit CBCPC’s confirmed that they were being supported by their communities to educate people about the abandonment of FGM/C.  They have also provided funds for them to photocopy the public declaration document and distribute to community members when they sensitise them. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

17c. The CBCPC’s aslso confirmed that they had expanded their committee members to include representatives for all the villages in each community.  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

17d. The CBCPC is tracking the briths of all female children and speaking to their families to ensure that they are are not subjected to FGM/C. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

17e. The CBCPC is tracking the traditional marraiges to ensure that no person is subjected to FGM/C as a rite-of-passage to adulthood. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA

17f. The CBCPC confirmed that the sanctions for FGM/C offenders are still in place, although no one has been caught and charged for FGM/C. #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA.

17e. In addition to meeting the CBCPC, the UNICEF Team had the oppourtunity to meet Njedeka Mbam, the young girl that ran away from her community to avoid being subjected to FGM/C, and this triggered the chain of events, which led to the public declration in Izzi Clan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4tfbEHmSW0&t=474s  #EndCuttingGirls @UNICEF @UNFPA.

18. The experience in Izzi Clan has revealed some five key issues… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4tfbEHmSW0&t=474s …

  • An effective community based surveillance system can also help eliminate FGM/C from our society by protecting girls/women at risk of being mutilated.
  • An effective surveillance system will also help bring FGM/C offenders to book which will serve as a deterrent to others
  • An effective surveillance system will also help in building data base of new cases of FGM/C #EndCuttingGirls
  • An effective community based Surveillence system will give room for proactive steps to avert possible new cases of FGM/C and also address new cass when they occur #EndCuttingGirls

 

I will stop here for my colleague @OkorieVictoria4 to conclude. Kindly ask your questions as from 6:45pm. #EndCuttingGirls

Thank you @Cydi2k. Good evening all and welcome to the final laps of this conference. #EndCuttingGirls

 

21a. How can the other communities that have decalred Public Declaration of FGM/C abandonment strengthen their surveillance system for monitoring and reporting FGM/C cases? #EndCuttingGirls

 

21b. Traditional rulers and custodians of custom can constitute “end FGM/C surveillance committee” with membrs from different sectors (teachers, religious leaders, influential persons, converted circumcisers, health educators, community security, or other people deemed relevant by the community), #EndCuttingGirls

 

21c. Each community can have a committee of 10-15 members with representatives from each village to ensure effective monitoring and reporting of FGM/C cases. #EndCuttingGirls

 

21d. The committee will provide a platform for coordination, peer support group and surveillance mechanism.  It will support follow-up and counseling meetings to dissuade families on the verge of cutting any girl #EndCuttingGirls

 

21e. They will document all children born in the community and following up to ensure that the girl-child is not subjected to FGM/C.  This will serve as an indicator to monitor compliance. #EndCuttingGirls

 

21f. In some cultures, like Izzi Clan in Ebonyi State, FGM/C is a component of the Traditional marriage.  The surveillance committee will document all marriages to see that FGM/C is not performed, which will serve as an indicator to monitor compliance. #EndCuttingGirls

 

21g. The surveillance committee will use existing platforms in the community such as religious meetings; kindred meetings; youth meeting; etc., to educate community members about FGM/C and child protection #EndCuttingGirls

 

21h. The surveillance committee will conduct end FGM/C dialogues with different groups in the community, including, community based groups of men, women, grandmothers, boys, and girls.  The dialogue must continue until the new social norm of “not cutting girls” is entrenched. #EndCuttingGirls

 

21i. However, if all efforts to dissuade any community member from perfoming FGM/C fails, the committee can report such person to face the sanctions placed by the community itself for FGM/C offenders #EndCuttingGirls

 

21j. The surveillance committee will meet on regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly), based on need to harmonize their activities and report to the Traditional Ruler.  They will keep records of their activities and minutes of their meetings. #EndCuttingGirls

 

21k. Data generated and kept by these community-level end FGM/C surveillance committee can be made available to government, partners and stakeholders working on elimination of FGM/C globally for making of better and informed policies #EndCuttingGirls

 

Time has come for communities to start owning up the end FGM/C campaign globally to ensure that the gains made by the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C Abandonment and other stakeholders are sustained. #EndCuttingGirls

 

A society with zero incidence rate of FGM/C is possible. However, an effective community-level end FGM/C surveillance system is the key to ensuring the people that have made a public declaration to end FGM/C do not renage on that promise. #EndCuttingGirls

We have come to the end of today twitter conference. Thanks for joining us its question time. #EndCuttingGirls

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