genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total
removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital
organs for non-medical reasons.
TWEET CONFERENCE SCRIPT: Empowering Secondary School Students as EndFGM Advocates” 18.10.2018
mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15years. This is one of the
reasons why we are focusing on Empowering Secondary School Students to
It is worrisome to note that, at least
200 million girls and women have experienced FGM in 30 countries across three
continents of the world. While over 3
million girls are estimated to be at risk of FGM annually.
practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play
other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths.
reasons why female genital mutilations are performed vary from one region to
another and include a mix of sociocultural factors within families and
recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and
women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an
extreme form of discrimination against women.
practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical
integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment. It is also a violation of the right to life when the procedure
results in death.
communities, women who have not undergone FGM are not allowed to handle food
and water because they are perceived to be unclean, and seen as posing a health
risk to others.
and modesty is also one of the reasons why FGM is performed. In some societies,
a woman is perceived to be cleaner and more beautiful if her genitals are cut.
Some body parts, such as the clitoris, which protrudes, are seen as male and
genital mutilation is classified into 4 major types.
Clitoridectomy, Type 2: Excision, Type 3: Infibulation, Type 4: All other
harmful procedures to the female genitalia e.g. pricking, piercing, incising. For more information, please
no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves
removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes
with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.
speaking, the risks associated
with FGM increase with increasing severity of the procedure.
complications can include: severe pain, excessive bleeding (haemorrhage),
genital tissue swelling, fever, infections e.g., tetanus, urinary problems etc.
consequences can include: urinary problems (urinary tract infections); vaginal
problems (discharge, itching, bacterial vaginosis); menstrual problems
(difficulty in passing menstrual blood, etc.); scar tissue and keloid etc.
on work from previous decades, in 1997, WHO issued a joint statement against
the practice of FGM together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The UN Joint programme on eliminating FGM
has partnered with different school clubs to end FGM. This has enabled us to reach
out directly to the students, and has had a multiplier effect on this campaign.
Secondary School Students as EndFGM Advocates especially by leveraging on
existing school club will help sustain the campaign and will help us reach more
school students are usually within the age bracket of 11-18years. This age as we all
know is one in which the teenager is faced with a lot of opinions and decisions
on what kind of adult they’d be.
students with adequate information will help to shape their attitudes and
influence their future behaviour towards the abandonment of FGM.
the key things that we must first understand about empowerment is that it
begins with education, empowering any individual starts with educating them
Topics around FGM
should be integrated into formal/non-formal education. The inclusion of this
topic would make it less of a taboo and young people can receive accurate
would in turn help break the culture of silence around FGM and other harmful traditional practices (HTPs).
other strategies for empowering secondary school students to resist FGM include
the members of existing school clubs, health, press, debate, etc. to integrate
FGM into their regular club activities
- These students should be trained intensively
to make sure they have the necessary information needed to train other
teenagers like them.
show that at least 60% of teenagers in Nigeria have access to the internet and
have social media accounts.
use this number to an advantage by training teenagers on using social media and
other communication devices as tools for advocacy. This would enable them to
create a large scale of social transformation.
strategy we can employ is the training the teachers in secondary schools. First
to educate young people, support those at risk of undergoing or have already
And also monitor
the activities of these students would also help to ensure that these trainings
are not over their heads.
In the 5
focus states where the UN Joint Programme is taking place in Nigeria, the UNICEF-trained Youth
Social media advocates trained some students from different school clubs as
advocates in 2017.
secondary school sensitization program across the 5 focus states brought so
much revelations and testimonies that only emphasize the need to empower more
secondary school students.
in Ebonyi State, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is implementing
another phase of UNICEF-Nigeria supported programs on partnering with school
schools where this
programmes were held see the campaign to #endFGM campaign as part of
the students of Comprehensive secondary school, Ebonyi State during one of our
trainings on partnering with secondary school clubs.
the Leaders of different school clubs from Plato Secondary School, Izhia,
Ohaukwu L.G.A Ebonyi State
from HIV activities that they are known for, FGM related activities also form
part of their activity plan every term.
students meet weekly to discuss the activities they carried out in their
various clubs to end
schools reports to their Zonal board while the Zonal board reports to the
social media advocates
their club meetings, they educate their peers about FGM and share new
discoveries they’ve made about the issue
their activities includes: class-by-class sensitisation, presentation during
moral instruction/Assembly talk, debate, quiz competition e.t.c.
of the competitive nature of their activities, this motivates them to research and
question their parents about the practice
information they receive from their parents about FGM, are discussed in their
meetings for clarification
leaders of different School clubs from Students of Science Secondary School
Ikirun, Osun State after a training session with them (image3)
leaders of different School clubs from the popular Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti,
Ekiti -State after a training with them (image4)
also share how they convinced their parents to see FGM/C as harmful to the girl
child and women
achieve a total abandonment of FGM, we need to explore this option the option
of partnering with different Secondary School clubs as advocates
If we can
identify such school clubs in other states and build their capacities, we are
good to #endFGM in this generation.
are trained on what they believe and understand the impact of their voices,
they can represent their families and communities with pride, courage and
this can be seen in Ebonyi state when a teenager, Njideka and two other girls, stood their ground on not undergoing
FGM because of the education she had received in in School and the Church.
stance led to a public declaration of the abandonment of FGM by some
communities in the Izzi Clan of Ebonyi State. The report is captured in the UN
Joint Programme report of Phase II [BCM1]
programs like the sensitization of different schools is deliberately created as
a strategy for social change, then we can be assured of positive changes sooner
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Together we will end FGM/C in this
you attach the report?