genital mutilation (FGM) otherwise known as female genital cutting or female
circumcision is defined as “all procedures that involve the partial or total
removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female
genital organs for non-medical reasons”.
other words, it is any procedure that causes injury to the female genitals
without medical indication.
World Health Organization (@WHO), classifies FGM into four broad types, based
on the anatomical extent of the procedure:
I (Clitoridectomy): This refers to the partial or total removal of the clitoris
and/or the prepuce (the fold of skin covering the clitoris). This is also
referred to as ‘Sunna’.
II (Excision): Removal (in part or whole) of the clitoris and labia minora. The
labia majora may or may not be removed.
III (Infibulation): Here, the vaginal orifice is narrowed, and a covering seal
created by cutting and repositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora.
The clitoris may also be removed. It is sometimes referred to as ‘Pharaonic’.
IV (Unclassified): Any other harmful procedure performed on the female
genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing and
incision of the clitoris and/or labia, stretching and/or cutting of the vagina
(‘gishiri’), scraping of tissue surrounding the vaginal opening (‘angurya’) and
also includes the introduction of corrosive substances into the vagina to cause
bleeding or to tighten or narrow the vagina.
FGM being a deeply embedded social norm with complex and various sociocultural
justifications, it is and would always be a harmful and dangerous practice
which can result in severe physical and mental health complications.
of FGM, all negative, cannot be fully quantified as it varies from woman to
woman, girl to girl. Some short term, and others long term.
sustain the campaign towards FGM abandonment, every community affected must be
fully involved. This brings us to the place where FGM Community champions (FCC)
play a major role.
FCC is any person who has been trained and equipped with information and skills
to reach out to community members for the purpose of positively influencing
decisions, actions, practices or behaviors towards FGM and it’s
their training, FCC’s carry out the following community level activities:
The FCCs Conducts
of Interpersonal communication
sessions with individuals, families and small groups
The FCCs conducts
awareness creation in Schools,
Churches, Market places, and Village meetings etc
They also Conduct educational/dialogue sessions with community groups during their
regular meetings (women groups, religious groups, Male Groups, Youth groups
Additionally, the FCCs Support
girls/women and influential community members to speak
out against FGM
Where there are cases of
FGM, the FCCs reports such cases to the appropriative Ministries, Departments
or Agencies with the help of their community leaders. If there should be any form of complication as
a result of FGM, the FCCs ensures that such issues are addressed by service
providers (health facilities, etc.)
The FCCs can work as
volunteers for statutory bodies or agencies involved in the end FGM campaign (community, LGA, State) to deliver FGM-related services
FCCs has the full power of their traditional rulers to monitor delivery homes
to ensure female children are not subjected to FGM. Wherever a female baby is
delivered within the community, the FCCs will be available to educate the
family members on the dangers of FGM which is known as “household education
the FCCs are seen as being knowledgeable on issues concerning FGM, neighboring
Communities invites them to speak to their people during community festivals. Activity
reports of the FCCs are reviewed and signed by their traditional ruler as part
of an endorsement of their monthly activities before it is being transmitted to
the appropriate authorities at state level.
FCCs also team up to form a forum in their community to campaign against any
health issue that is not in the best interest of their Girls and Women in their
Community and also expands to other neighboring community.
reports of the FCCs will help the traditional rulers keep track of the number
of female babies delivered in their communities and the number subjected to FGM
the selection of FCCs in a community, the following factors are to be
i). Determine the number of
FCCs required to cover a community (using data from assessment process).
ii). Ask community stakeholders (e.g.,
traditional, religious leaders, etc.) and service providers (health facilities, etc.) for
recommendations for FCC candidates during regular advocacy visits.
Manage expectations about the selection process, and screen candidates for
conflicts of interest (e.g., nepotism).
Preliminary interview of shortlististed FCC
candidates is advised to assess their personalities and confidence to
engage in discussions with people. This is be carried out before training
commences. In conclusion, In Sustaining
and Amplifying the campaign to end FGM in Nigeria, we need end FGM Community