Benjamin C. Mbakwem (@cydi2k)  and Ugwu Charles Egede (@charles_clever)

  1. Good evening. Welcome to today’s tweet conference. I am @cydi2k, your anchor, and my co-anchor is @charles_clever …#EndCuttingGirls


  1. @cydi2k, starts the conversation, and @charles_clever concludes by 600pm. We will take your questions from 6:30pm till 7:00pm. #EndCuttingGirls


  1. We will discuss“Strengthening comm. systems to monitor & enforce FGM/C abandonment in comm. that have public declared FGM/C abandonment”


4a. FGM/C stands for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


5a. FGM/C refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


5b. …or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


5c. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies FGM/C into 4 types. #endcuttinggirls.  @endcuttinggirls


5d. Type 1: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (Clitoridectomy). #endcuttinggirls


5e. Type 2: partial or total removal of clitoris and labia minora, with or without excision of & labia majora (excision). #endcuttinggirls


5f. Type 3: narrowing the vaginal opening by appositioning labia minora or labia majora, with/without excision of clitoris (infibulation)


5g. Type 4: unclassified: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. cauterization. #endcuttinggirls


6a. The centuries-old practice of FGM/C is a social norm, #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


6b. …buttressed by underlying gender structures &power relations and deeply rooted in tradition. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


  1. In Africa, FGM/C is known to be practiced among certain communities in 29 countries, including Nigeria. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


  1. FGM/C is usually carried out by elderly people in the community (usually, but not exclusively, women) #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


8b. …designated to perform this task or by traditional birth attendants #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


  1. Where it is widely practiced, FGM/C is supported by both men and women, usually without question, #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


9b. and anyone that does not follow the norm may face condemnation, harassment and ostracism. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


10a. Where FGM/C is a social norm; it is difficult for families to abandon it without support from the wider community. #EndCuttingGirls


10b. In these communities, it is often practiced even when it is known to inflict harm upon girls #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


10c. because the perceived social benefits of the practice are deemed higher than its disadvantages. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


11a. In communities where FGM/C is practiced, it is deeply rooted in their tradition and culture. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


11b. Therefore, the decision to stop FGM/C must come from within the community and supported by all; #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


11c. it must be made by women, men and community leaders who together can affect and sustain this profound social change. #EndCuttingGirls


12a. Because of the interdependent nature of decision-making where FGM/C is practiced as a social norm, #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


[embeddoc url=”” height=”100%” download=”all” viewer=”google”]12b. it is difficult for any single individuals or families to abandon the practice on their own. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


13a. FGM/C continues because individuals are concerned with whether others will approve or disapprove of their actions.. #EndCuttingGirls


13b… and believe that if they do not conform to the practice they will face sanctions, such as social exclusion, #EndCuttingGirls


13c…or be unable to find suitable marriage partners for their daughters within their community or intermarrying communities #EndCuttingGirls


13d. To end the practice of FGM/C, communities need to engage in self-examination and must be encouraged to act collectively #EndCuttingGirls


13c. the most successful approaches use facts and human rights principles to empower communities to decide for themselves #EndCuttingGirls


13d. …through community dialogue to abandon the practice. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


13e. this instils a sense of autonomy and avoids the perception that they are being coerced or judged. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


14a. Community dialogue creates a non-threatening space where people can re-evaluate their own beliefs & values about FGM/C. #EndCuttingGirls


14b. it serves to impart new communication skills &knowledge to participant’s #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


14c. and to start a discussion about the practice within the community. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


15a. Similarly, community dialogues bring people together to openly discuss and reflect on issues relevant to FGM/C #EndCuttingGirls


15b. such as women’s rights and health and the motivations behind the practice. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


16a the goals of Community Dialogues vary, depending on the context, but broadly,… #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


16b…they seek to bring about recognition of the value of women to the community #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


16c …and help people reach a consensus to abandon FGM/C. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


17a. A key function has been observed: public community dialogues incite and stimulate private discussions within families, #EndCuttingGirls


17b. ultimately affecting their decision on whether to carry out FGM/C on their girl child or not. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


18.To achieve Public declaration of FGM/C abandonment, community dialogue and has a very key & significant role to play #EndCuttingGirls


  1. Effective abandonment of FGM/C requires a process of community dialogue, decision and public commitment. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


20a. FGM/C can only be abandoned at scale when abandonment is a coordinated act #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


20b. undertaken by a large proportion of the intra-marrying group to ensure that the shift is both effective & stable. #EndCuttingGirls


21a. Where FGM/C is practices as a social norm; families will not abandon FGM/C on their own… #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


21b. They will not abandon the practice as long as they believe that others still expect them to cut their daughters. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


21c. They will act only when they believe that social expectations have changed from “cutting” to “not cutting”, #EndCuttingGirls


21d. and that most or all others in their community will make the same choice around the same time. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


22a. FGM/C abandonment typically begins with an initial core group of individuals who set in motion a dynamic of change. #EndCuttingGirls


22b. As this group becomes ready to abandon the practice, they then seek to convince others to abandon. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


22c. Members of this critical mass spread d knowledge of their intention to abandon to others through their social networks #EndCuttingGirls


22d. …through a process known as ‘organized diffusion’ #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


22e …this process will continue until a large enough portion of the intermarrying community is ready to abandon FGM/C #EndCuttingGirls


22f. …this stage is described as the ‘tipping point’. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


23a. After this point, the abandonment would become stable because it would permanently change social expectations. #EndCuttingGirls


23b… Community members would be expected not to cut their daughters, those who do not comply will be sanctioned. #EndCuttingGirls


  1. But for abandonment to occur, it is vital that people are aware of and trust the intention of others to also abandon. #EndCuttingGirls


25a. Social expectations will change if people have a guarantee of the commitment of others to also abandon the practice. #EndCuttingGirls


25b. This guarantee usually occurs through a public declaration/affirmation of the commitment to abandon the practice… #EndCuttingGirls


25c. that each individual is assured that other community members are willing to end the practice. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


26a. For the “new social norm” of “not cutting” to become a reality, the willingness to change must be declared in public. #EndCuttingGirls


27a.  Under the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C Abandonment, a public declaration /affirmation is defined as… #EndCuttingGirls


27b. “formal public ceremonies involving one or more communities, , but increasingly also districts and ethnic groups … #EndCuttingGirls


27c. that take part in an event where they manifest, via their representatives, the specific commitment to abandon FGM/C” #EndCuttingGirls


27d. this is a moment of broad social recognition that shows that most support, and most likely will abandon FGM/C.  #EndCuttingGirls


28a. The moment of public declaration/affirmation commitment can be a celebratory and ennobling event. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


28b. Some communities that have abandoned FGM/C saw the process as an opportunity to increase the profile of their community #EndCuttingGirls


28c. Community members often feel pride to publicly declare their choice to abandon FGM/C, #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


28d. ..rather than shame at not upholding the practice or for having upheld it in the past. #EndCuttingGirls @endcuttinggirls


29a. On 31 July 1997, Malicounda Bambara Village in Senegal became the first village to publicly declared FGM/C abandonment #EndCuttingGirls


29b. Since then communities in Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ethiopia, and Gambia also publicly declared FGM/C abandonment #EndCuttingGirls


30a. On 19th June 2017, history was made in Nigeria when the Izzi Clan in Ebonyi State publicly declared FGM/C abandonment #EndCuttingGirls


30b the public declaration by the 26 communities of Izzi Clan was made in the presence of other communities in Ebonyi State #EndCuttingGirls


30c. .. and stakeholders like UNICEF, UNFPA, USAID and Wife of Ebonyi State Governor, Chief (Mrs) Rachel Umahi Nweze, #EndCuttingGirls


30d. the public declaration was a result of the on-going effort of the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C Abandonment #EndCuttingGirls


30e. these activities include community dialogues, activities of the trained FGM/C Community Champions (FCCs), as well as.. #EndCuttingGirls


30f. consensus-building meetings with the Izzi Clan Traditional Rulers Forum and the Custodians of custom “Ishiukes’ #EndCuttingGirls


30g. the consensus-building meetings were coordinated by one of UNICEF’s partners, the Ebonyi State Child Protection Network (CPN) #EndCuttingGirls


31a Public declaration does not mean that the declaring community is free from FGM/C; #EndCuttingGirls


31b. …rather it represents a milestone in the process of abandonment because it signals the change in social expectations. #EndCuttingGirls


32a. having secured public declaration in Izzi Clan, it is important to strengthen the comm. systems to monitor it. #EndCuttingGirls


32b. communicate the social norms shift via interpersonal communication within and between social networks e.g. age grade #EndCuttingGirls


32c. Commence/sustain social media and mass media campaign that supports dialogue rather than transmits messages #EndCuttingGirls


32d.    Establish Community-based Child Protection Committee (CBPC) in the 26 communities of Izzi Clan to monitor compliance  #EndCuttingGirls.


32e.     Conduct sessions with ex-cutters to educate them about FGM/C and how to identify alternative sources of income#EndCuttingGirls.


32f.     Establish and popularise a help line for reporting suspected FGM/C-related issues #EndCuttingGirls.


32g.    Register all girls that have not undergone FGM/C as a mechanism for monitoring progress and protecting the girls. #EndCuttingGirls.


  1. In conclusion, Public Declaration is the most significant/decisive step in the campaign to end FGM/C. #endcuttinggirls


33b. After 10 years, 77% of the people in communities that had declared abandonment of FGM/C did not resume it. @tostan #endcuttinggirls


33c. therefore we must strengthen community systems to monitor and enforce FGM/C abandonment after a public declaration” #endcuttinggirls


  1. We have come to the end of our twitter conference. It’s question time. #endcuttinggirls @cydi2k, @charles_clever