Strategic and stakeholders planning meeting on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) advocacy in Okigwe Zone, Imo State

As part of the activities of End FGM Advocacy Project, Devatop Centre for Africa Development with support from The Girl Generation, held a Strategic and Stakeholders Planning Meeting at Mbeke, Isiala Mbano, Imo State, on Saturday, 13th May, 2017. The convening was attended by representatives of Traditional Councils, Primary Health Centres, State Universal Basic Education Board, Women Associations, non-Governmental Organisations and Community Volunteers, who contributed immensely towards the development of project strategic and working documents.  

While addressing stakeholders, the project manager, Mr. Samson Nwosu Emeka, noted  that the project End FGM Advocacy is aimed at impacting villagers in Isiala Mbano LGA, Ehime Mbano LGA, Okigwe LGA, Oniumo LGA, Obowo LGA, and Ihitte Uboma LGA. He called on stakeholders to take an active part in making the project a success.

Speaking to the stakeholders and volunteers, the Executive Director of Devatop Centre for Africa Development, Mr. Joseph Osuigwe Chidiebere, said, “The end FGM advocacy project involves training 100 people (teachers, health workers, community volunteers, corps members, religious leaders, women leaders, victims of FGM, and NGOs) as advocates, who will take action to stop the practice of FGM in their communities. After the training, each of the participants will educate and impact 100 people within the next two months and send reports to us. It will also involve a tailored media campaign on both TV and radio stations”.

Mr. Chidiebere further noted that no family needs to be affected by FGM before taking action to end it. FGM is a practice that has both health and psychological consequences on women and girls. He advised them to be at the forefront of combating FGM, until there is a zero tolerance for the practice.

The meeting stimulated discussions on better ways of ending the practice, and the participants made impressive suggestions on how to end female genital mutilation and develop strategies to promote societal dialogue on the practice. During the meeting, stakeholders were divided into three groups and asked to come up with recommendations and present to their general house. In their group presentations, Lolo Ugueze, the wife of a traditional ruler said, “By showing the traditional rulers clear disadvantages of female genital mutilation, it will make them to invite villagers to town hall for proper exposition of FGM.”

Nze (Chief) S.C. Ogbuji also suggested that the yearly “August Meeting” should be used to educate women on ending female genital mutilation since it is a festive period when women gather for series of meetings. Ezinna V.C. Egwu suggested the use of local language (Igbo) to prepare persuasive and stimulating messages about female genital mutilation.

The stakeholders pledged their support for the project and assistance in mobilizing passionate community members to be trained as End FGM advocates.  

For more details about Female Genital Mutilation, visit: www.devatop.org

Supported by The Girl Generationwww.thegirlgeneration.org

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