Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.”

FGM also encompasses practices that involve injury or alteration to the external genitals including pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, and cauterization.

For more information about FGM you can visit http://www.who.int or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s

The UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on Elimination of FGM is accelerating efforts to end FGM.  In Nigeria, the UNJP is implemented by government agencies and civil society organisations, and supports policy formulation, service delivery and community-based activities in five states.

The five states are namely, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Osun, and Oyo State. 

The Joint Programme supports change of social norms through interventions that target and empower communities to critically reflect on FGM as a violation of girls’ and women’s rights and explore the benefits of FGM abandonment.

Over the years, women at Communities where FGM is practiced have been at the forefront of campaigning against FGM.

The activities of women in the end FGM campaign is pivotal in catalyzing norm change by taking a public position in calling for the elimination of FGM.

Today’s Tweets will feature what three women from Imo State Nigeria are doing to out a total end to FGM in their communities.

Our first Community Hero is Mrs. NwaelleOluch from Eziama Community, NgorOkpala LGA, Imo State. Mrs. NwaelleOluch

NgorOkpala LGA of Imo State is the second place in southeastern part of Nigeria where traditional & Community leaders publicly denounced the practice of FGM, making the practice culturally illegal and the first in Imo State. .

Mrs. NwaelleOluchi is part of the women who has benefited from the UNJP programme in the Nigeria through trainings. Mrs. NwaelleOluchi

After her training, Mrs. NwaelleOluchi is leading a household visit session with other women from her community to sensitize pregnant women and nursing mothers on the dangers of FGM. .

This household visit is important because FGM happens on or before the 8th day to newly born female babies in Imo State. .

Consequently, before a woman thinks of performing FGM on her newly born female baby, Mrs. NwaelleOluchi and her fellow women have already sensitized the woman and her household on the dangers of the practice.

Also, she is leading a male involvement discussion with men of her community to let them know the dangers FGM poses on the health of women.

In a phone conversation with Mrs. NwaelleOluchi and the Imo State Social media Advocates, she said her interest is for her community to achieve a total abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  

The second FGM Community Hero from Imo State, Nigeria is Mrs. Christiana Chizomam from Ozuzu Community, NgorOkpala LGA.

She is part of those who have received a training from UNICEF through @NationalImo. .

After her training by @NationalImo, she has led other women from her Community in conducting household visit session to educate pregnant women and nursing mothers on the dangers of FGM. #endcuttingirls.

Mrs. Christiana Chizomam is using her natural groups at community level to educate her group members on the dangers of FGM.

She is a hero we are proud of in Imo state working to end FGM. .

Finally, Mrs. Scholastica Iwuji from Owunbinubi, Ikeduru LGA has also played an impotant role in ending the practice of FGM in Ikeduru.

She has led other women in motoring and tracking new cases of FGM in her community and report back to their traditional rulers as a way to sustain the public declaration of FGM made by her people.

Mrs. Scholastica Iwuji is using their Community Annual women August meeting to sensitize women on the dangers of FGM.

The UNICEF Trained social media advocates are proud of the good works our community heroes are doing to end Female Genital Mutilation in their communities.

At this point, I will stop the conversation so we can reflect on the key points discussed as I entertain any questions.

Thanks for being part of the conversations today. Join us every other Thursday 5-7pm. Visit our  www.endcuttinggirls.org for more info and updates on FGM, and kindly follow the handle “@Endcuttinggirls” on all social media platforms.

Together we will end FGM in this Generation.