Good evening and welcome to today’s tweet conference, I am Ola Moses Morakinyo @honolamoses1 and  I’ll be joined by Femi Aluko @femijoss and FavourKorikiye @her_petiteness

We shall be addressing the topic; FGM as an act of violence against girls and women

This session will run for the next 90 minutes (5:00pm to 6:30pm) after which, we’ll be taking your questions.

For the sake of those joining us for the first time, we shall have a brief introduction on what FGM is.

FGM stands for Female Genital Mutilation and is defined as all practices that involve the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

There are four types of FGM, as classified by World Health Organisation (WHO) and they are:

Type 1 (Clitoridectomy) involves the Partial or total removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy)

Type 2 (Excision) Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora @WHO

Type 3 (Infibulation) 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 @WHO

Type 4 (unclassified) refers to All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, pulling, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization  @WHO

FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women

FGM is deeply rooted in culture, has no health benefits, violates the human rights of women and girls

FGM is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of  girls and women

FGM practice violates women and girls’ rights to health, security and physical integrity

FGM practice violates women and girls’ rights to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

FGM practice violates women and girls’ rights to life (when the procedure results in death). FGM Practice harms girls and women because it interferes with the natural functions of their bodies.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) over 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM. FGM has short terms and long term effects on the health and well-being of girls and women.

Short term effects of FGM include: severe pain, excessive bleeding, shock, genital tissue swelling, infections, etc

Long term effects of FGM cut across: chronic genital infections, urinary tract infections, painful urination, keloids, perinatal risks, etc

For more info on this and other FGM related issues, please visit www.endcuttinggirls.org

You can also like our Facebook page using the link www.facebook.com/endcuttinggirlsnigeria or visit our Youtube channel

I will hand over to my colleague @femijoss who would take it from here, please stay with us

Thank you for that enlightening introduction @honolamoses1

Gender-based violence (GBV) is the general term used to capture violence that occurs as a result of the normative role expectations associated with  gender,

Women, girls, men and boys can be victims of GBV, however, the main focus of this conference  is on violence against women and girls

It has been widely acknowledged that the majority of persons affected by gender-based violence are women and girls

The primary targets of Gender-based violence are women and adolescent girls, but not only are they at high risk they also suffer exacerbated consequences

GBV includes marital rape; sexual abuse of female children; dowry-related violence; Female Genital Mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women. To cut off the sensitive sexual organ of a girl is prevents it from performing its functions, a distortion to her womanhood, and an abuse of her fundamental human right

The best way to make a girl to abstain from pre-marital sex is not by cutting her genital, but by educating and mentoring her. Together we can build a nation where there is zero tolerance to female genital mutilation

Girls are well created, and it is unnecessary and irrelevant to cut any part of their bodies. Even if you or any of your family members may not have experienced FGM,

You need to speak out against it to discourage others from the practice

When you perform FGM on  a woman or girl child, you affect her womanhood through this  act of violence

As introduced earlier FGM is an act of violence against girls and women, according to the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) which was signed into  law in May 2015.

The practice of FGM is an offense punishable by law, the VAPP Act protects persons from harmful traditional practices which puts their lives at risk.

Female genital mutilation is an infringement of the rights of women to health, because of the numerous negative results the practice has on the life of survivors.

Survivors of the practice of #FGM have recorded and reported more negative results, while some victims suffer severe bleeding and eventual death, survivors live with both long and short term effects.

Uncut young girls and women in communities where it is practiced live in fear of the exercise and struggle with ways to avoid the practice for fear of  negative effects on the life of victims, FGM hence infringes their rights to security.

When girls and women don’t feel safe in their host communities, their actions, relationships and activities in these communities become somewhat restricted.

Female genital mutilation thereby infringes on the rights to security of girls and women.

In communities and societies where #FGM is practiced the beliefs and reasons for the practice differs, but overall there are general beliefs in host communities that women are not whole until they are cut.

The practice is mostly introduced as some form of cleansing act from sexual promiscuity or an introduction/initiation into ‘womanhood’, in these communities uncut women are mostly perceived as incomplete.

The practice of #FGM infringes on the right to physical integrity in communities, because uncut women and girls are perceived and treated as not being physically whole and worthy.

Passing on the information or belief that the practice of FGM is what qualifies women and girls to be accepted as worthy and complete takes away the physical integrity of uncut women and girls in such communities, this is the backbone of FGM in most places where it is practiced.

The practice of #FGM also encroaches on the social rights of girls and women, in host communities where it is practiced uncut women are perceived as being full girls or women…

And as a result they are sometimes treated as belonging to a lower social class or standard than other women who have been cut.

In some societies, girls and women who refuse to undergo the practice are stigmatized and treated as being unclean or sexually uncontrollable.

FGM alters the rights of girls and women in more ways than one, and has an overall higher  negative effects, and no positive results has resulted from years of the practice.

FGM has  no positive effects , and when the reasons for it’s existence are weighed against the effects, the reality is that uncut women have safer births and better sexual health and experience…

The practice is then seen for what it really is. An act designed to control the sexual and reproductive life of women and girls.

The VAPP act  ensures the protection of the life of girls and women against FGM.

Perpetrators of the act are termed by the act as violators, and survivors are referred to as victims. I though there are certain factors hindering the implementation of the VAPP act in Nigeria causing a drawback on the eventual abandonment of the practice,, it doesn’t change the fact that FGM is indeed an act of violence against girls and women, and a United Nations recorded from of gender based violence.

For more facts and figures about FGM kindly visit our website at www.endcuttinggirls.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

You can also join us for our weekly twitter conference by 5pm every Thursday.

We also invite you to participate in our monthly Frown Challenge, every last Friday of the month. Together we will in this generation.

We have come to the end of the first ninety minutes, and I and my team are ready to receive

and provide answers any questions.