Genital Mutilation (FGM) includes all procedures that involve the partial or
total removal of external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs
for non-medical reasons. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified
FGM into four types, and they are all practiced in Nigeria.
I: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce
(Clitoridectomy). Subgroups of Type I FGM are: type Ia, removal of the clitoral
hood or prepuce only; type Ib, removal of the clitoris with the prepuce.
II: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or
without excision of the labia majora (excision). Subgroups of Type II FGM are:
type IIa, removal of the labia minora only; type IIb, partial or total removal
of the clitoris and labia minora; type IIc, partial or total removal of the
clitoris, labia minora and labia majora.
III: narrowing of the vaginal orifice with 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). Subgroups of Type III FGM are:
type IIIa, removal and apposition of the labia minora; type IIIb, removal and
apposition of the labia majora.
is covered under this definition. This is a procedure to recreate an
infibulation, for example after childbirth when defibulation is necessary. #endcuttingirls
IV: unclassified – all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for
nonmedical purposes, for example, pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and
Type IV also includes the practice of “massaging” or
applying petroleum jelly, herbal concoctions or hot water to the clitoris to
desensitize it or pushing it back into the body, which is common in many parts
of Nigeria, especially Imo State.
is estimated that over 200 million girls and women worldwide are living with
the effects of FGM, and every year some 3 million girls and women are at risk
of FGM and are therefore exposed to its potential negative health consequences
Nigeria, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (2016-17) revealed that 18.4% of
women aged 15-49 years had undergone FGM, a decrease from 27% (2011). Conversely, the FGM prevalence among
daughters (0-14 years) rose from 19.2% (2011) to 25.3% (2016-17).
The Nigerian film industry fondly
called Nollywood is arguably the largest hub of entertainment in Africa. With a
work force of people from all regions, tribes, and religions in Nigeria,
Nollywood is undoubtedly an attractive partner in the fight to #EndFGM and
other forms of #GBV
Discussing storytelling and film
production as a strategic partner for ending #FGM is discussing the deliberate
production of movies tailored to pass the message on the Effects of FGM. Considering
a production force of approximately 50 movies weekly, and an audience that cuts
through all classes of people, the Nigerian film industry is undoubtedly an
asset that must be maximized in ending FGM.
These movies carrying conscious
messages would spark conversations about #FGM in all households, communities,
rural and urban settlements. #endcuttingirls
The practice of #FGM has thrived in a
culture of silence, a lot of communities where it is practiced there’s an
unspoken lock on the lips of victims regarding the negative effects of fgm.
Through my years of advocacy against
FGM one common feedback I’ve gotten is indifference and ignorance on the
existence of FGM. This ignorance and indifference is premiered by the culture
of silence attached to the practice.
The production of relative stories
through films would encourage survivors in practicing communities to talk more
about the effects of the practice especially in their lives and lives of loved
ones. While some cutters may be ignorant
of the adverse and long term effects of #FGM movies that carry the message
would serve as a medium and tool of education and enlightenment.
Movies on community declarations
featuring the collective abandonment of FGM in rural communities alike should
also be promoted. Movies like this would not only spark conversations in homes
but in the community at large.
Further familiarity with the message
of the adverse effects of FGM, #endcuttinggirls is a sure step towards
mass reorientation and education, which would prepare families to make better
decisions regarding the practice of FGM.
We have come to the end
of today’s conference, i hope it’s been enlightening for you as it’s been for
me. To learn more about the @endcuttinggirls Social Media Campaign, please
visit endcuttinggirls.org for
information. You may also follow our
social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, using
Together, we will #endcuttinggirls in this generation.