UNFPA trains 200 adolescent girls on advocacy against FGM

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UN Population Fund (UNPF), under its Youth Participatory Platform (YPP), on Monday in Osun state trained 200 adolescent secondary schoolgirls on digital
skill advocacy against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The two-day training is in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organisation, Value Female Network (VFN).

The students, drawn from 20 schools across the state, were trained on how to use social media to launch campaign against the prevalence of FGM.

Blessing Ashi, the UNFPA YPP representative, said the training was aimed at
enhancing digital capacity for students as means of exposing the dangers of FGM.

Ashi, who noted that FGM had no benefit but complications, said it was sad that many communities in the state still engaged in the age-long practice.

According to her, since social media is a veritable tool in information dissemination, students will be trained on how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, among others, to spread information about the dangers of FGM.

She listed some of the long-term consequences of FGM to include complications during child birth, anaemia, damage to the urethra and sexual dysfunction.

She urged governments at all levels to strengthen their campaign against the harmful practice.

Elizabeth Talatu, the UNPF YPP Coordinator, Lagos Office, urged students to use the digital platforms to expose perpetrators of FMG in their communities.

Talatu urged female students to always report attempts by anyone to mutilate them to Civil Society Organisations and the police, adding that there were laws against FGM in the country.

She also urged government, security agencies and the judiciary to ensure the domestication of laws against FGM in states in order for culprits to be prosecuted.

She added that “UNFPA YPP, Lagos, organised this two-day training for girls in Osun communities to train them on how to make use of social media to champion the campaign against FGM.”

Dr Costly Aderibigbe, the VFN team leader, said Osun was chosen for the training because of the high prevalence of FGM in the state.

Aderibigbe, who described FGM as partial or total removing of the external genitalia of girls and young women for non-medical reasons, said all hands must be on deck to stop the harmful practice.

According to her, since the world is now a global village through social media, the training will help in spreading the ills of the practice.

The team leader said that after the training, the girls were expected to train other girls in their schools and communities on how to use social media to expose the ills of the practice.

Some of the students in attendance commended UNFPA and VFN for the training.

They promised to use social media to launch aggressive campaign against FGM in the state.

Bilkisu Pai