Welcome to today’s tweet Conference. I am @onisyes and @thonyayeni would be anchoring today’s conference.

I will take the introduction and @thonyayeni will coordinate the next session. Questions will be attended to by 6:30pm

We thank everyone for joining our campaign, our TWEET CONFERENCE, hosted every Thursday ( 5-7 PM )

Our topic for today “Partnering with legislators to support the passage of budgetary provisions for FGM interventions

Before we proceed, we will like to explain to us, what is FGM?

FGM means Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting

FGM is “any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organ for nonmedical reasons.”

There are four ( 4 ) types of female Genital Mutilation /Cutting

Type 1. Partial or total removal of the clitoris and / or the prepuce ( Clitoridectomy).

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

Type 3. Narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal.  The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris

Type 4. All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example .pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area

FGM is widespread in Nigeria,  some sociocultural determinants have been identified as supporting this avoidable practice.

FGM is still deeply entrenched in the Nigerian society where critical decision makers are grandmothers, mothers, women, opinion leaders, men and age groups.

FGM is an extreme example of discrimination based on sex. Often used as a way to control women’s sexuality, the practice is closely associated with girls’ marriageability.

Mothers chose to subject their daughters to the practice to protect them from being ostracized, beaten, shunned, or disgraced.

It is true that tradition and culture are important aspects of any society in helping to mold the views and behavioral patterns of the society; some traditions and cultural beliefs and practices like FGM are harmful and must be abolished. Kindly read more about FGM by following www.endcuttinggirls.org

Today millions of girls are affected and Every girl Child deserve a better healthy living

Government commitment is crucial in ending FGM

Our legislatures should be in the forefront advocating for every girl Child

Every Legislature is an advocate of his or her people.

Silence on FGM is a violation of women and girls rights

Legislating on adequate budgetary allocation  for  FGM

In 1994, Nigeria joined other members of the 47thWorld Health Assembly to resolve to eliminate FGM.

Starting in 2018, UNFPA and UNICEF continued the joint effort, integrating complementary interventions even more systematically under Phase III of the Joint Programme.

The Joint Programme provided technical input for preparation of the resolution document adopted by the Third Committee (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian) of the General Assembly in 2016.

The UN resolution (A/Res/71/168) welcomes the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and underscores the importance of eliminating FGM.

Phase III of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on eliminating Female Genital Mutilation also calls upon the international community and different countries to strongly support, including through increased financial support.

The focus continues to be on countries with highest FGM prevalence which Nigeria is part of, with the aim of shifting social norms in affected communities while working with governments to put in place viable national response systems.

One of the targets of the UNJP Phase III is that the 16 countries, where the programme is being implemented, will have a national budget line and monitoring mechanism which include Nigeria.

Including FGM in Nigeria Budget will allow UNFPA and UNICEF reach the target for the period 2018 to 2021, which is required to meet the Joint Programme’s objective of accelerated change.

In Nigeria, FGM is being tackled by United Nations International Children Fund (UNICEF), UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA) and some other Donor Organizations.

29a. Commitments to the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on eliminating Female Genital Mutilation will improve and expand the  campaign, which currently is supported by a range of generous donors,…….

29b……. including the European Union, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Legislators should be invited to programs organized by the UNJP , programs like community dialogue, this will help broad their knowledge about the effects of

Advocacy visit to be made to the law makers should be properly done and they should be told about the consequences of FGM “Advocacy is a tool to bring about change”

The more educated, more informed our legislators are, the more they will appreciate and understand the hazards of harmful practices like FGM and sees it as unnecessary procedure and refuses to accept such harmful practice.

The question we need to ask is “Where do you want Nigeria to be”? In years to on the issue relating to abandonment of FGM.

The passage of budgetary provisions by our legislators can be done if we choose to make a difference by being informed and becoming an active participant with them in the budgetary process.

Government needs to get involved and own this #encuttinggirls campaign and in doing this a budgetary provision has to been in place.

A bill or budgetary provisionsis a change in law or an appropriation of funds for a specific purpose.

The fine placed on the law passed by the legislators, criminal fines and penalties collected in federal court can serve as source of fund for this budget.

In passage of bills like the budgetary bills, support of the people are also important.

With so many bills and areas of possible disagreement between the House of Representative and Senate, it is not surprising that Congress has difficulty passing each appropriations bill in regular order.

In passing a budget, the president’s budget request starts the process, and then Congress responds.

The first step in the funding process is the creation of a concurrent congressional budget resolution. The budget resolution has one key purpose, which is to set the total level of discretionary funding for the next fiscal year.

The funding process moves to the Appropriations Committees in each chamber. Long considered one of the most powerful and prestigious committees on which to serve. Appropriations is responsible for determining program-by-program funding levels.

A lot of sensitivity is required in programming to achieve a communal resolution to work towards a value shift, Legislators need to understand the importance of putting an end to FGM.

Funding for FGM programs must be renewed each year to keep government agencies open and the programs operating.

Legislators can help by Ensuring that FGM survivors receive the services they need through increasing funding for the organization working on FGM.

Legislators can help by Ensuring that different organizations have access to the funds they need to reach the core part of the country.

The budget would not only better protect against FGM, but to also provide needed trauma-informed care for children exposed to the act.

The best way to educate or influence a lawmaker is to meet with them personally. This can do individually or with a group.

Communication and awareness-raising, along with advocacy and education, can influence, policy-makers and Legislators and thus are often vital forces for mobilizing the political commitment and resources that are needed to drive the budget processes forward.

Since you’re here we have a small favour to ask. We need more people to join tweet conference but we need you to tag a friend most especially a legislator (Councilor, House of Assembly, House of Representative and Senate) on this trend. we want to reach out to as many people as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

Join the crusade to say “NO to FGM” to save the future generations of girls and women.

Enquire about the practice in your locality and give clear information and education to other people on the health effects of FGM.

Work with other people to stop the practice of FGM in your area. Contact health or other influential authorities in your area to notify them about the problem.

Discuss with your law makers or local representatives on making laws against FGM.

With this, we have come to the end of today’s conference. Please send in your questions till 7pm.

Thank you for joining us today. Join us again next week Thursday for another tweet conference. Together we will end #FGM in this Generation.