The war against FGM has been ongoing for several years now. I appreciate the efforts of those who came before us and the initiators of this noble cause “allow me not to mention their names”. I concur over the years we have made many achievements and we are experiencing gradual change day by day and over time, specifically in our generation we will end FGM.
It feels sad though to expect different results by applying exact tactics/strategies that have not succeeded before. FGM being a social norm requires proper understanding of communities in different contexts. What works in one clan, country, county or continent may not necessarily work in the next one.
In my view this is the way to face #FGM in 2017
Involvement of Men
I am not shy to repeat this, “By not involving men in the fight against #FGM is like a doctor treating symptoms of a disease and ignoring the disease”. Until recently FGM has been treated as a women and girls issue. NGOs and government agencies involved in the fight against FGM had made it a tendency to call girls separately and educate/sensitize them in public schools and other gatherings. The boy we ignored 20 years ago is now a grown up man/youth ready for marriage and he has no idea as to why FGM is bad. He is the same youth who is armed ready to escort girls to undergo the cut and he swears he can’t marry the uncut girl. Do we want to continue with the same mistake?? For more on this check http://tonymwebia.blogspot.co.ke/2015/04/are-we-missing-point-menendfgm.html or http://tonymwebia.blogspot.co.ke/2014/09/menendfgm.html
Embrace community dialog and sensitization
In my view community sensitization and dialogues aimed at changing peoples’ perception and attitude is the surest way to #EndFGM. Every time we are faced by a challenge we legislate laws as the easiest way to address the issue at hand. But do these laws always work? Can we arrest everyone in communities with prevalence of 94%? For more on this check http://tonymwebia.blogspot.co.ke/2013/08/my-take-on-this-debate-law-vs.html
Embrace religious leaders
To demystify the spiritual aspects of FGM we need to involve religious leaders and make them a recipe in this fight. The opinion of religious leaders carries enormous weight on decisions of many community members. Some communities also have beliefs that if a girl does not undergo FGM she brings bad omen to the family. Religious leaders are better suited to address this.
Abandon conference room meetings/Embrace Dialogs
In my opinion the war against FGM has been dragging on and on, one of the main contributors is the conference room meetings in towns. The elite in the community form cartels that are invited in all trainings in towns. In a year they attend over 10 trainings and they deliver very little to the community. To get more on this check http://tonymwebia.blogspot.co.ke/2015/03/conference-rooms-know-more-about-fgm.html
Involve more youth
I agree to achieve the generational change we so much yearn for in the fight against FGM we need to involve and engage the youths constructively in the fight against FGM. Youths form more than half of the worlds’ population, are more open minded and more ready to accept change. They also stand to benefit most by the elimination of this harmful cultural practice.
Sex education for men to go hand in hand with FGM trainings
Most men have no idea of what happens during the actual cut. They have no idea of what role the clitoris or the labia play before, during or after sex. Which other topic is more attractive to youths or men than sex? Let’s educate the men on why these vaginal parts should be left as they were created and what role they play on increasing sex pleasure. For more on this check http://tonymwebia.blogspot.co.ke/2016/10/men-have-no-idea.html
Wishing you all a prosperous 2017 in the fight against FGM