Recall that in 2015, @UNICEF_Nigeria trained a cadre of savvy social media advocates under the @GPtoEndFGM, and supported them to birth a vibrant and extremely cost-effective social media campaign to #EndFGM with the catchphrase “.”

The @Endcuttinggirls initiative by @UNICEF_Nigeria was predicated on the need to expand access to information about FGM, provide visibility for on-going community-level interventions, constantly educate as well as interact with young people and other stakeholders.

The Social Media Advocates (SMAs) agreed on a discussion hash-tag () and decided to use six internet platforms to drive the campaign, namely, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Website and WhatsApp.

From 2015 to date, the @UNICEF Trained SMAs has sustained the  social media campaign which is currently adjudged to be the biggest online campaign going on against FGM in Nigeria. As we speak, there are social media handles with the name ‘Endcuttinggirls’ on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There is also a YouTube channel “Endcuttinggirls Nigeria,” a WhatsApp group “EndFGM ” for internal coordination and a website www.endcuttinggirls.org

With these our social media presence, the SMAs have tried to become an #EndFGM mouthpiece and an online information reservoir for the Nigerian internet community and beyond.

The weekly #EndFGM Tweet Conference with the discussion hash-tag  which was launched in November 2015, is a signature campaign of the SMAs. This informative session has been held consistently every Thursdays, 5pm to 7pm, Nigerian time since 2015 till date.

Over the years, every other Thursday, SMAs have continued to take turns to anchor the Twitter conference, sharing well-researched, educative and persuasive presentations on approved #EndFGM topics in accordance to a quarterly work plan. This pattern has been sustained till date.

In 2020 alone, this chain of weekly #EndFGM Tweet Conference with the discussion hash-tag  was held a total of 54 times.

Therefore, to refresh our minds on our discussions of the past year, we will, today, be having a recap of the topics we looked at every other Thursday and on some other special occasions from January to December, 2020.

8e. Importantly, we are glad to inform you that the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the entire 2020 can be found and resourced at our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In January, 2020, the theme of our discussions was “Family” with emphasis on how various members of the larger family can all contribute to accelerate FGM elimination. There were a total of 5 twitter conferences held under this theme.

We opened our discussions for January, 2020, with the topic “Empowering Children (sons & daughters) as advocates to end FGM in their families.” This conference was anchored by Ugwu Charles Egede @CHARLES_CLEVER.

Secondly, we had a conference on “Supporting Parents (mothers & fathers) to protect their daughters from FGM.” It was anchored by Olufalade A. Toluwalope @capritolu

Thirdly, we also had a discussion on “Partnering with grandmothers and mother-in-law’s to end EndFGM.” This topic was anchored by Anthony Ayeni A. @thonyayeni

Additionally, we also looked at the topic “Strengthening the role of the extended family in protecting girls and women from FGM.” It was anchored by Dare Olagoke-Adaramoye @dareadaramoye

 Finally, for the month of January, 2020, we rounded up our weekly Twitter conferences with the topic “Protecting girls and women from FGM through the “Neighbourhood watch” approach.” The topic was handled by SarumiAbayomi T. @AATSarumi

We are pleased to notify you that the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of January, 2020 can be found at our website via:https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

 In February, 2020, “Youth” was the theme of our weekly discussions, with emphasis on how they can rise as critical stakeholders to scale up the FGM elimination campaign. In that regards, we kicked off the month of February with a Special Tweet Conference tagged “Unleashing Youth Power” to mark February 6th, 2020 – The International Zero Tolerance Day for FGM. This conference was anchored through our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls

Subsequently we also had a conference on “Unleashing Youth Power: Enhancing the role of community-based youth organizations in the EndFGM campaign in Nigeria.” It was anchored by Ola Moses Decoda @olamosesdecoda

Again, we also had a conference on “Unleashing Youth Power: Equipping girls with life building skills and empowering them to become “EndFGM Advocates” in Nigeria.” It was hosted by Cynthia OmoImonitie @iamcindymartins

Finally, we rounding in the month of February by taking a look at the topic “Unleashing Youth Power: Partnering with existing Secondary School Clubs to amplify the #EndFGM campaign in Nigeria.” It was anchored by Okorie Victoria Nneka @9jascientist

You can accessthe full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of February, 2020 at just a click away on our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In March, 2020, “Women”, were the epicenter of our weekly discussions with respect to how that can play a critical role in accelerating the FGM elimination campaign. In that regards, we started off our discussions in the month of March, 2020 with the topic “A World Without FGM Is Possible Through Gender Equality and The Realization of Women’s Rights.” It was hosted by Michael Olaniyan @Michael_avocat

Subsequently, we also looked at the topic “Ending FGM through a gender equal world: Role of men.” It was anchored by Lauryn Dunkwu @_chzy

Furthermore, we also had a conference on “Ending FGM through a gender equal world: Role of traditional institutions.” It was hosted by KorikiyeTekeFavour @Her_petiteness

Finally, we ended our weekly discussions for the month of March, 2020, with the topic “Ending FGM through a gender equal world: Role of government.” It was anchored by AnthoniaOkoli @Ttonia_

For the full transcripts of all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of March, 2020, kindly visit our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In April, 2020, COVID-19 was at the global center stage, so our theme of discussions throughout that month was “Preventing COVID-19.”

We kicked off our response to the pandemic with the topic “Preventing the spread of COVID-19 as we work together to end FGM.” The conference was anchored via our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

Subsequently, we also discussed the topic “Protecting Girls/women from FGM during the COVID-19 lockdown:  Role of Government.” It was also handled through our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

Again, we looked at the topic “Protecting Girls/women from FGM during the COVID-19 lockdown: Role of Traditional institution.” It was also handled through our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

Furthermore, we discussed the topic “Protecting Girls/women from FGM during the COVID-19 lockdown: Role of EndFGM Comm. volunteers (champions, etc).” The conference was anchored via our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

 Finally, we rounded up our discussions for the month of April, 2020, with the topic “Protecting Girls/women from FGM during the COVID-19 lockdown:  Role of the Family.” This conference was also anchored via our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

We are pleased to notify you that the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of April, 2020 can be found at our website via:https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In May, 2020, the world continued to battle with the pandemic, therefore “COVID-19” still was the epicenter of our discussions for that month.

In that regards, we started the month of May, 2020, with a discussion on the topic “COVID-19 and Harmful Practices such as FGM” The conference was anchored via our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

Furthermore, we also looked at the topic “Identifying & addressing the needs of Girls/Women at risk of FGM within the COVID-19 Response.” The conference was anchored via our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

Again, we also considered the topic “FGM Case Management during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The conference was anchored via our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

 We rounded up our discussions for the month of May with a discussion on “COVID-19 and FGM: What the health sector/system can do.” As well, the conference was anchored via our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls.

You can access the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of May, 2020, at just a click away on our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In June, 2020, we continued to discuss around COVID-19 and FGM with the specific theme “Media and COVID-19.”

We started our discussions for June, 2020, with the topic “COVID-19 and EndFGM: Partnering with Radio Stations to disseminate campaign messages.” It was anchored by AdemolaAdebisi @Adexconsult

Subsequently, we also looked at the topic “COVID-19 and EndFGM: Amplifying campaign messages through Television programmes.” This topic was anchored by Dare O. Adaramoye @dareadaramoye.

Furthermore, we had a discussion on “COVID-19 and EndFGM: Sustaining programme activities through Social media platforms.” It was anchored by Lauryn Dunkwu @_chzy.

Finally, we rounded up our discussions for June, 2020, with the topic “COVID-19 and EndFGM: Enhanced programme co-ordination through webinar apps.” This topic was anchored by AbayomiSarumi @AATSarumi

For the full transcripts of all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of June,2020,kindly visit our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In July, 2020, the theme of our discussions was “Abandonment of FGM” with emphasis on modalities for ensuring compliance to decisions made during open community public declaration on FGM abandonment.

We started this chain of discussions with the topic “Expanding the role of #EndFGM Community volunteers (champions, etc) after the Public Declarations of the Abandonment of FGM (PDAs).” This topic was anchored by Da-Costa Titilade @timida_costa.

Subsequently, we also looked at the topic “Partnering with Community Women’s Associations to protect girls at risk of FGM in communities that have publicly declared the abandonment of FGM.”  It was anchored by Chukwubueze N. Nwuzor @Chukwubueze_n.

Furthermore, we also had a discussion on “Monitoring compliance to commitments made during the public declaration of abandonment of FGM through Community Based Child Protection Committees.” This topic was anchored by Ayeni Anthony @thonyayeni.

Again, we also treated the topic “Enhancing the partnership between health service providers and community surveillance committees in communities that have publicly declared the abandonment of FGM.” It was anchored by Oparah C. Purity @lady_purity5.

Finally, we had “Strengthening the collaboration between legal service providers and community surveillance committees in communities that have publicly declared the abandonment of FGM.” This topic was anchored by Michael A Olaniyan @Michael_avocat.

We are pleased to notify you that the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of July, 2020 can be found at our website via:https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In August, 2020, we took time to recognize the various “Community Heroes working to end FGM” across the country.

We started with the topic “Community Heroes working to end FGM in Nigeria: Women.” This topic was anchored by Adanze U. Njoku @danzychris.

Similarly, we also recognized Traditional Rulers with the topic “Community Heroes working to end FGM in Nigeria: Traditional Rulers.” It was anchored by Charles E. Ugwu @CHARLES_CLEVER.

Additionally, we also recognized Religious Leaders on the topic “Community Heroes working to end FGM in Nigeria: Religious leaders.” This topic was anchored by Morakinyo Moses Ola @honolamoses1.

We rounded up by showering encomiums on young people under the topic “Community Heroes working to end FGM in Nigeria: Youth.” This topic was anchored by Olufalade A. Toluwalope @capritolu.

For the full transcripts of all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of August, 2020, visit our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In September, 2020, we critically analyzed “Community engagement Strategies for Ending FGM.”

We started our discussions with the topic “Working with boys and men’s associations as EndFGM advocates.” This topic was anchored by Cynthia Omo @iamcindymartins.

Similarly, we also looked at the strategy of “Empowering young girls as EndFGM change agents.” It was anchored by Okorie-Duru Victoria N. @9jascientist.

Again, we also examined the strategy of “Engaging community women’s associations as partners to EndFGM.” This topic was anchored by Raymond Okpani @Rokpani.

Finally, we also critically examined the strategy of “Accelerating change through community-to-community dialogue on FGM.” It was anchored by Okoye Robinson Chibuzo @robinson4eva.

We are pleased to notify you that the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of September, 2020 can be found at our website via:https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In October, 2020, we looked at modalities for strengthening “FGM-related services.”

Meanwhile, we started by “Celebrating the national achievements in the campaign to end FGM in Nigeria.” On October 1st, 2020. This topic was anchored by FelxfameEnisire @felxfames

Furthermore, we looked at the topic “Strengthening access to FGM prevention, protection and care services: Social sector.” It was anchored by KorikiyeTeke F. @Her_petiteness.

Again, we had a discussion on “Strengthening access to FGM prevention, protection and care services: Justice sector.” This topic was anchored by OladeleEsan @deolutayo.

Our weekly Twitter conferences for Thursday – 5th November, 2020, and Thursday – 12th November, 2020, were both postponed in recognition of the pains Nigerians went through during the #EndSARS Protest of that period.

For the full transcripts of all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of October, 2020, visit our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In November, 2020, our emphasis was on “FGM prevention, protection and care services.”

First, we looked at the topic “Strengthening access to FGM prevention, protection and care services: Education sector.” This topic was anchored by AnthoniaOkoli @Ttonia_

Secondly, we also examined the topic “Strengthening access to FGM prevention, protection and care services: Health sector.” It was anchored by Ola Moses @olamosesdecoda.

Furthermore, we had a discussion on “Strengthening community surveillance systems to monitor compliance to commitments made during the Public Declaration of Abandonment of FGM (PDA).” This topic was anchored by AdemolaAdebisi @Adexconsult

Finally and very importantly, we dedicated a Twitter conference for celebrating the “5th year Anniversary of the  Social Media Campaign to #EndFGM in Nigeria: the Program, the Achievement and the Advocates.”

You can access the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of November, 2020 at just a click away on our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

In December, 2020, we focused our discussions on “Gender Based Violence.”

First, we discussed the topic “Strengthening community systems for preventing and responding to FGM and other forms of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).”  This topic was anchored by AbayomiSarumi @AATSarumi.

Secondly, we also looked at the topic “Empowering young girls to lead the campaign to End FGM and Gender Based Violence.”  It was anchored by Chukwubueze N. Nwuzor @Chukwubueze_n.

Furthermore, we discussed the topic “Strengthening community governance structures to abandon FGM and other harmful gender norms.” Ayeni Anthony @thonyayeni.

Finally, we rounded up our discussions for the year 2020 with the topic “Enhancing a multi-sectoral approach to ending FGM and Gender Based Violence in Nigeria.”

For the full transcripts for all our weekly twitter conferences for the month of December, 2020, visit our website via: https://endcuttinggirls.org/category/tweet-conference/

The Social Media has proven to have a huge potential to contribute towards ending the practice of FGM, as shown by the Endcuttinggirls campaign. 

The  social media campaign started small but today have cumulatively reached some 8 million people and counting with myriads of positive #EndFGM impacts that have been far reaching.

Notable amongst other keys to our successes through social media platforms is our interactions here on Twitter. Over the years, people have continuously contacted our official Twitter handle @endcuttinggirls with FGM related questions and gotten clarifications.

Individuals and organizations including researchers visit our website www.endcuttinggirls.org regularly to access the transcript of our weekly Twitter conferences as well as get all kinds of useful and valid FGM related-information and materials.

Lastly, on several occasions people have also alerted us through our Twitter handle whenever someone in their neighborhood is about being mutilated and we have always responded to avert such cases of FGM.

Because of these myriads of positive outcomes and more,we will be sustaining this tempo and hope to keep our weekly Twitter conferences up and running all through 2021 as we strive to bring you even more informative and educative sessions.

The Endcuttinggirls Social Media advocates, sincerely, appreciate @UNICEF_Nigeria for birthing this initiative.  The success of this campaign can only be attributed to her foresight, leadership, support and guidance all through the years.

Finally, we wish to reiterate that FGM still remains a harmful practice that absolutely has zero benefits.

The complete eradication of FGM by the year 2030 is possible and all hands must be on deck to accelerate this process.

Thanks for being part of our conversations today. Join us every other Thursday 5-7pm. Visit our website www.endcuttinggirls.org and kindly follow the handle “Endcuttinggirls Nigeria’’ on all social media platforms.

It’s time to hear and respond to your questions and/or opinions based on the conference. Keep them coming.