Good evening and thank you for joining us everyone. You are welcomed to the tweet conference this evening
I and my colleague @oluseun17 will be taking you through – ‘empowering community members to join the social media campaign to end FGM/C’
We will tweet on the topic for 90 minutes while we will take questions and comments for the rest 30 minutes. Join us as we share this exciting and expository time on
FGM/C stands for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. FGM/C is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.
There are four (4) types of female genital mutilation/cutting
Type 1: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy).
Type 2: partial or total removal of & clitoris and & labia minora, with or without excision of & labia majora (excision).
Type 3: narrowing of & vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning of labia minora and/or & labia majora, with or without excision of & clitoris (infibulation).
Type 4: unclassified – all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example, pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.
FGM/C violates & human rights of girls/women, and has immediate and long-term negative effects on their health & general wellbeing.
FGM/C is deeply rooted in tradition and persists as a social norm that is upheld by underlying gender structures and power relations.
Without doubt, Social Media gives us ample opportunities to intensify the end FGM/C campaign in the easiest and cost effective manner.
Imagine if Martin Luther King (Jr) had the instrumentalities of the social media… How many people could be reached in real time across the world? Exactly! That’s what we can use SM to achieve to/for #endcuttinggirls
The Social media helps us to reach countless people and connect beyond borders; but beyond reaching, we must think of ways to keep and sustain the audience. The social media space is driven by new and sometimes ‘weird’ ideas. Advocates must be creative in their activism/advocacy in the social media to . A lot of funny/funky stuffs are jostling for that SM space too.
The principles that will be discussed are applicable to both the online and offline participants/followers of the movement. started as a cause that is presently a movement and could soon become a community.
Thus, Creativity, innovation and consistence is needed to reach and keep our audience in the midst of other competing priorities. FGM/C is about every girl, woman and us all. That’s the importance of #endcuttinggirls
I like this definition of Creativity: the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.
Rather than the messages becoming stale and the talks becoming usual, creativity helps to innovate, invent and recreate what we do in a more engaging way. Without which we may lose our space.
Creativity is a Mental characteristic that allows us to think outside the box, which results in innovative or different approaches to our task of #Endcuttinggirls
For clarity, Creativity is the capability/act of conceiving something original or unusual. Innovation is the implementation of something new. Invention is the creation of something that has never been made and is recognized as the product of some unique insight.
Creativity is key! Creativity is the fuel that sustains lasting social media intervention. and other #endFGM social media activities must innovate more creative ways of reaching the vast space
Incentivizing and engaging the space during offline and online hours is also key. #FrownChallenge has taken a huge lead. Daily/weekly quiz, idea contests etc can also help keep people coming to learn more on the platforms
As a quick reminder! Tomorrow Friday is another #Frownchallenge. You can’t afford to miss out. It has produced a winner every single month. You too could be the next winner.
Social Media is evolving, which means advocates must not also be stagnant but dynamic and versatile. This not only helps us to keep abreast of latest developments but also helps us to know how to harness the developments to
Community ownership of the campaign could be triggered by outreach sessions to community members, encouraging them to follow and participate in the campaign on SM @endcuttinggirls
Social Media initiatives must be very engaging. It must encourage others to be involved. The people must have a sense being involved, this will not only make them come back but stay glued.
A message is rarely enough to change someone from ever practicing FGM, but a continuous engagement can, information can be given in piecemeal, but education take a bit more. SM advocacies should go beyond information to education.
It is easy to lose sight of the main purpose of our activism amid the bubbling SM actions. Advocates must not be caught in the web of motion without movement. Our main target is to end FGM. Every activity must find its way to lead to the goal!
Content creation and usage is also crucial. As we have some video on YouTube, the materials must be consistently shared on Social media so that community members can widely use it.
Connect, Learn, share, collaborate pretty captures all we want to make of everyone who comes into contact with the movement on SM. To connect with you, you learn from us, you share with us/others, we collaborate to #endcuttinggirls
It is very important to reach out and touch your audience says Prof. Kim Whitler of the University of Virginia. Followers love to be engaged, equipped and empowered; this makes them feel important, as though they have a vested interest in the campaign.
Followers also want two-way interactions and are flattered to offer reviews of a cause’s performances or services. They will like to offer feedbacks and suggestions too
At this point, I will allow my co-anchor @oluseun17 to complete the rest of the tweetThank you for the session for the eye-opening introduction.
Thank you @gbasibedotcom for that wonderful and educative session. I will take it from here.
Through Social Media we can build a community, guided, focused and expanding. Thus, you as advocates Reach out to followers and let them reach out to you and to one another using social media in order to successfully build community
I look forward to the community through @endcuttinggirls on twitter, endcuttinggirls Nigeria on Facebook, endcuttinggirls on Instagram and www.endcuttinggirls.org. To form a vibrant community committed to ending FGM in this generation
Another strategy is creating a story through the message, and be relatable with your story. It’s helpful to get creative and personable – be the brand that your audience can easily relate to and identify with. .
For a relatable story, the born saleema Initiative in Sudan readily comes to mind. The success story shows how a relatable initiative can generate vast influence towards ending FGM/C
The Saleema success came about when the ground message of “Every girl is born Saleema, let every girl grow Saleema” became the core idea behind the national movement. There are lesson #endcuttinggirls can learn from similar causes
A popular brand once created a caption that stated, “Create the future, together. Join us and run to become part of the movement. Click the link in our bio …” Instead of a boring caption like “Click the link in our bio for more …” A useful hint for #endcuttinggirls
Asking questions or polling the audience can also be an effective way to increase participation. This could be done at healthy intervals to engage the vast community.
As is a brand that spreads only positivity and we must keep doing that. A recent study found that brands who posted happier tweets actually gained more followers than those who posted with a negative tone.
Example: Our Message is simple represents positivity and possibility. We are assured that you can join us to make the next generation of girls free from FGM/C and its attendant dangers.
Posting call-to-actions are recommended at the end of messages. E.g. to encourage people to visit www.endcuttinggirls.org website, to join the community etc.
Consistence when posting on social channel accounts is vital. Consistency in style, voice and value sets a level of expectation. It’s an excellent way for the audience to get a grasp of brand and what it represents.
In other to involve and empower community members to join the campaign to end FGM most especially through Social Media campaign
Nigeria, @UNICEF_Nigeria trained and empowered youth advocates to help create awareness of FGM/C in Nigeria and globally.
The campaign went beyond awareness creation and gave opportunities for capacity building and information resourcing for community members, activist and stakeholders.
There are ongoing social media campaigns to end FGM/C and if community members are not part of such campaigns, then the purpose is defeated, If community members are empowered to be part of ongoing social media campaigns to end FGM/C, it will help build their capacity and get them understand the peculiarities of FGM/C in other parts of the world.
Since 2015 the UNICEF Campaign has made tremendous success in empowering community members to join the social media campaign to end FGM/C through their social media advocates in the focal states. During end FGM/C Community engagement programmes, (Workshop, Sensitization) the Social media advocates are given the opportunity to handle a sessions on Social media for the community members with more focus on the youths.
The social media advocates identify those on different social media platform and use a social media data collection tool to collect their social media handles/identity.
The social media advocate takes their time to have an intensive session with community members on the use of social media to advocate for change such as FGM/C.
At the end of the session, interested participants meets the social media advocates for assistants in creating social media accounts they don’t have.
Additionally, the social media advocates teaches the community members how to use social media to report cases of FGM/C in happening in their communities.
The Community members are taught how to use FGM/C short video clips for grassroots activities in their natural groups. The Community members are taught how to use the social media to report their community based activities and engage stakeholders and policy makers from their Communities.
The power of the social media cannot be over emphasized, hence more community members should be empowered on how to use social media to end FGM/C.
In conclusion, Social media advocacy and activism is strategic and requires well thought-out schemes. You set goals and you do a periodic review and revisit to know if you are on track and to re-analyse your strategies. Like we do to #endcuttinggirls.
I’ll like to stop here to give room for questions, comments and feedbacks. Thank you for the time! Join us every Thursday same time to #endcuttinggirls