Female 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.

Type 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.

Type 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.

Type 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.

Reinfibulation is covered under this definition. This is a procedure to recreate an infibulation, for example after childbirth when defibulation is necessary. #endcuttingirls

Type IV: unclassified – all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for nonmedical purposes, for example, pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.

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.

It 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 (UNICEF 2016).

In 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).

For more information about FGM you can visit http://www.who.int or watch

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 @endcuttinggirls

Together, we will #endcuttinggirls in this generation.