TWEET CONFERENCE SCRIPT: Partnering with the Print Media to Accelerate the Campaign to End FGM – 20.09.2018

Good evening all. Welcome to the weekly Twitter conference of the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation: Accelerating Change (Phase III).

I am Ademola Adebisi @VARCENigeria, your Anchor, and my co-anchor, is Korikiye Teke @herpetiteness.

Today, our focus is on “Partnering With The Print Media To Accelerate The Campaign To End FGM”. We will be discussing ways that Partnering with the Print Media can Accelerate The Campaign To End FGM.

I will take the first part of this discussion, while my colleague will be on hand to take the final part, before we answer your questions.

Before we move into our major discussion for today, let’s quickly review some basic information about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. @WHO

 The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies FGM into 4 types. WHO classifies FGM/C into four categories with subdivisions.  @WHO

FGM Type I: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy). The 2 subdivisions are, FGM Type Ia: removal of the prepuce/clitoral hood (circumcision) and FGM Type Ib: removal of the clitoris with the prepuce  @WHO

FGM Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision)

 The 3 subdivisions are of FGM Type II are; FGM Type IIa: removal of the labia minora only; FGM Type IIb: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora; and FGM Type IIc: partial or total removal of the clitoris, the labia minora and the labia majora

FGM Type III: 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).

The 2 subdivisions are, FGM Type IIIa: removal and a positioning the labia minora with or without excision of the clitoris; and FGM Type IIIb: removal and a positioning the labia majora with or without excision of the clitoris

Type 4 Unclassified; refers to all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, including cauterization, pulling, incision, piercing, pricking, and scrapping for non-medical reasons.

It is estimated that over 200 million girls and women worldwide are living with or at risk of suffering the associated negative health consequences of FGM @WHO

Every year 3 million girls and women are at risk of FGM and are therefore exposed to the potential negative health consequences of this harmful practice. @WHO

FGM 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. The procedure of FGM 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.

Moreover, the removal of or damage to healthy genital tissue interferes with the natural functioning of the body and may cause severe immediate and long-term negative health consequences.

The practice of FGM is prevalent in 30 countries in Africa and in a few countries in Asia and the Middle East, but also present across the globe due to international migration. FGM practice is deeply rooted in a strong cultural and social framework. It is endorsed by the practicing community and is supported by loving parents who believe that undergoing FGM is in the best interest of their daughter. The beliefs sustaining the practice of FGM vary greatly from one community to another, although there are many common themes. However, the primary reason is that it is part of the history and cultural tradition of the community.

Despite its cultural importance, we need to acknowledge the fact that FGM is a harmful traditional practice that violates the rights of girls and women. Therefore, FGM has to be eliminated.

For more information about FGM you can visit http://www.who.int or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s @WHO

In order to extend the campaign to end FGM across all population class, there is the need to engage the print media to enhance efforts made on the social and electronic media. There are several reasons why the EndFGM campaign should indeed partner with the print media, these reasons are the advantages print media has over other forms of media.

The print media is one of the oldest forms of conveying messages to a large populace. It also remains one of the most popular forms because it can reach a wide target audience at a quite inexpensive rate.

There are various types of print media and can be used to target a particular segment of the populace. Print media types include newspapers, newsletters, magazines, books, banners, brochures, etc.

Print media is relatively cheaper than other mediums and its low expenses make it more achievable to push the message on the abandonment of FGM easier and stronger.

While certain mediums of broadcasting have a more restricted audience target, print media offers a more accessible platform to spread the message, without as much as a flittered audience.

With the print media organizations like ours can control just how our messages are perceived by the audience, through the prints controlled appearance.

We decide and control where the messages are displayed, how they are displayed and more importantly the print media allows for structured advertising based solely on the content. Print media catches and holds the attention of all audiences, without restrictions. Like a magazine seated on the desk of an office or hotel reception has the potential of reaching as many people as possible, without expirations.

Print media is much more mobile than other mediums of advertising. It is a lot more handy and undiscriminating to social or economic statuses. Print media is accessible to all classes of people, whether or not they have access to televisions, radios or mobile phones.

In consideration of the literacy of the general audience in influencing the accessibility of the message, Print media offers pictorial segments where messages can be expressed in pictures and cartoons, not only is this a fun way of expression it also covers the gab between age grades and literate statuses.

Newspapers are the most popular form of print media and also the most inexpensive way to reach a huge mass of people at a go. Columns and articles in daily or weekly newspapers can be dedicated to publishing information on FGM, interventions of local and international organisations, survivor stories and success stories achieved so far.

These can be published in series that will incite readers’ attention and quizzes can be inserted at the end of each series to allow readers engage with the stories shared. Cartoons and animations can also be used to illustrate issues relating to FGM as this will enable children and younger adults relate in better understanding of the subject matter.

Newsletters are publications that mostly cover one main topic. They can be used as information sources for communities and focus groups on issues relating to FGM, its effects and the need to abandon the practice.

Magazines provide detailed articles on various topics and can be published weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. They can be used to disseminate pictorial information of FGM issues.

Books are the oldest form of print media that are used as a way of communication and information piece. Short stories of FGM survivors, history and details of how the practice is performed, detailed effects of the practice and prohibiting legislations can be compiled and published.

These compilations can be targeted at in-school youths, out-of-school youths, health workers, custodians of traditions and government agencies. They can also be translated into major native languages to enable proper understanding of the subject matter, irrespective of tribes and cultural affiliations.

Banners, billboards and posters are also effective print tools in promoting the campaign to end FGM. Basic details and Call to Actions can be boldly and attractively printed on them and they are fixed in locations where such details catch the attention of passers-by and can be read, even from a long distance.

Flyers and brochures can also be used in engaging the populace in the FGM abandonment campaign. They can be used to carry pictorial stories on the practice, its effects and the need to abandon the practice. These forms of print are less bulky and can be used to disseminate necessary information at a quick glance. All forms of print media are effective in promoting the end FGM abandonment campaign, but the specific target audience must be duly considered and all necessary details must be passed across in the simplest forms of languages to enhance a proper understanding of the subject matter.

To learn more about the @endcuttinggirls Campaign, please visit endcuttinggirls.org for information. You may also follow our social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, using @endcuttinggirls

At this point, I will end the presentation to give room for questions and contributions from participants. Thank you all for reading our tweets

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