AUGUST 2022 Issue
Over 50 local women’s organisations campaigned to end FGM in August - reaching 73 million across 9 countries
4 minute read 
Dear <<First Name>>, 

Frontline women's organisations were out in force, from initiation ceremonies in Sierra Leone to TV ad campaigns in Nigeria, to stop thousands of girls from being cut.   

51 local grassroots women’s organisations worked flat out through the summer - one of the most dangerous times for FGM (and child marriage) as schools shut for the holidays giving the girl’s wounds time to heal.    

These local women’s organisations, funded by the UNFPA, ran anti-FGM media campaigns on 42 local and national media outlets in Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, The Gambia, Mali, and Guinea. 

In November,  the Donors Guide To Ending FGM by 2030 will be complete with a village to village - town by town - country by country guide of the most effective local partners in the growing feminist movement tackling FGM and GBV across Africa. This interactive digital guide will feature over 1,000 road-tested and vetted frontline women’s organisations and activists from 10 countries across Africa who are leading the fight to end FGM by 2030.

Check out what some of those local women's organisations achieved during August below, with special thanks to the UNFPA for backing this feminist frontline movement ending FGM, and the Wallace Global Fund, the US foundation at the forefront of ending FGM globally. 


Somalia | 
5 media amplification campaigns | 3,5 million reach

"I have experienced FGM... my periods are so horrific, sometimes it causes me to lie down for a whole week."

Above, 16-year-old FGM survivors Iman Mohamed Hassan, Amina Mohamed Hassan, and Hodan Hassan Farah, are interviewed for Sahan Radio and other media channels reaching 700,000 listeners. Journalist Ms. Asia Abshir Aden (founder of Save the Rights)
 visited Al-Hikma Secondary School and Haaji Abdi Health Institute Growe in Puntland, Somalia to understand more about the mindset of the next generation. In Somalia, a staggering 98% of girls undergo FGM. 

Click here to the read more about their experiences and the impact FGM has on their lives today. One girl shares that FGM type 3 is less likely today due to more sensitisation from religious leaders and media awareness.
Sierra Leone | 
6 media amplifications of grassroots campaigns | 500,000 reach

The Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM) - one of Sierra Leone’s most powerful women’s organisations - took the campaign to end FGM to the heart of the bush in August, using local radio to promote their message to keep the traditional coming of age ceremonies but drop the FGM knife. The campaign was led by the legendary Sierra Leone feminist and former government minister, Rugiatu Turay, who also works on medical screening for sexually transmitted diseases.

70 FGM practitioners laid down their knives in August, declaring an end to FGM in Matotoka village, Tane Chiefdom, Tonkolili district. Despite the success of these frontline women's organisations in ending FGM and GBV, they receive less than 2% of donor funding.

To read the latest from this campaign and see a video of marchers celebrating the end of FGM in the village, click here.

Ethiopia | 
5 media amplification campaigns | 12 million reach

"Mothers used to tell me to make the FGM procedure private without informing anyone other than the girl's mother."

Abdullahi Gamadiid, a journalist working for Ethiopia's Universal TV is interviewing Fardowsa, a former FGM practitioner who explains why she gave up FGM. The campaign reached an estimated 12 million viewers, and cost less than $400 (most TV stations in Africa are private and airtime to be paid for.) It was overseen by the Ifrah Foundation, an anti-FGM women’s organisation working with GMC to reach millions on local TV and radio with the anti-FGM/GBV message across the Somali regions of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Click here to read more about Fardowsa’s story and how she gave up the practice of FGM.

Nigeria | 
7 media amplification campaigns | 45 million reach

Ayo Bello, founder of the Initiative for Girls Rights and Health in Osun state, Nigeria, called out powerful traditional rulers, and religious leaders to speak out against FGM and join the #BornPerfect media campaign - as global footballing heroes join the fight to end FGM. Ayo who is the Global Media Campaign's lead in Nigeria reached nearly 30 million viewers on Nigeria's biggest TV outlets in a three-day anti-FGM campaign in August.

Read more on her spearheading campaign here.

Kenya | 
8 media amplification campaigns | 3,5 million reach

"I faced a lot of resistance, hardship, curses, and stigmatisation from males, particularly my father and my father-in-law. Friends also deserted me for marrying a girl who has been cursed by her parents for defying a critical traditional rite of passage.” 

The Kajiado End FGM frontline team organised for Parsanka Sayianga to speak out on local TV on his decision to marry an uncut girl, explaining that FGM can harm women in childbirth, cause obstructed labour, kill the child and destroy a woman's sex experience. Sayianga reached 11,000 people in this TV broadcast on Kajiado's local TV.

Click here to read how he is helping to bring change in Kajiado, Kenya.

Liberia | 
3 media amplification campaigns | 500,000 reach

“Right now we are engaging youth groups, medical professionals, and religious leaders to join us in this End FGM campaign."

Liberia's newest frontline organisations, dedicated to ending FGM by 2030, began work in January this year funded by the GMC and the UNFPA: "Stop FGM Save Our Future" was their first summer show at Radio Dengola. Guests included Helena K. Ben (health worker), Kelly Bryent (Community College Student), Blessings Smith (Federation of Liberian Youth), and team lead Mrs Philis D. Varfee who called all decision-makers to join them in their fight.

Read the latest from Liberia here.

Mali | 7 media campaigns | 4 million reach

End FGM campaigner Laleissa Traoré explains how she has been campaigning against the practice ever since she was young. At 12 years old, she saw someone talk about FGM at her school. At the time, she went to the cutter and called her to abandon FGM. Today, she's broadcasting to over 900,000 people at once, amplifying her message on Oxygène FM. 

Thanks to Rachida, Assitan and Djénébou's August campaign, people across Bamako, Badignida, Niaman and Tabakoro heard her call to action.

For more updates on the feminist campaign in Mali, read the latest news here.

Guinea | 6 media campaigns | 4 million reach

President of the frontline organisation Alliance des Jeunes pour la Cause des Femmes (AJCF), Augustine Gamy works in Guinea’s Forest Region, N’zérékoré. In this local radio roundtable, Pastor Calixte Guemou, midwife Madeleine Kolié, and FGM Survivor Christiane Lamah talk about the dangerous realities of FGM, calling the audience to drop the knife.

One of FGM's direct consequences is on maternal and child mortality: according to World Health Organisation, 700 women are dying daily in Africa giving birth, and 25% of those deaths happen because of obstructed labor when the baby is trapped by FGM scar tissue and unable to get through the birth canal.

Backed up with radio spots in Loma, Pkèlè, and French, Augustine's August campaign reached 100,000 people across Guinée Forestière.

Click here to read more about the ongoing campaign in Guinea.

“Hats off to GMC for empowering frontline activists in Guinea - they now have the confidence and the means to end FGM.”
Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Guinea

The Gambia | 
4 media campaigns | 200,000 reach

"Sealing of the vagina takes place during FGM practice; this affects girls when they are married. They unseal you and cut your flesh again, then force you to have sex with your husband even though it is so painful."

End FGM campaigner Yamou Mbaye invites religious leaders and medical professionals to go on TV to talk about FGM and discourage summer cutting. During the TV sensitisation, Fama Cham, a Child Rights Activist called in and shared her story.

Read the latest from Gambian organisations campaigning to end FGM here.

“In nearly 40 years reaching working in the FGM field, I have never come across an organisation that is working faster or more effectively to end this practice than GMC.”

Dr. Tobe Levin, Centre for African-American Research, Harvard University

The Global Media Campaign to end FGM (GMC) was founded almost 10 years ago. It is determined to ensure that grassroots women's organisations and activists, who are leading the way to end FGM, get the funding they need.

As 40 years of research in over 70 countries show that backing local women's organisations is the most impactful approach to tackling gender inequalities - according to Donor Action Direct- GMC is dedicated to supporting frontline feminist organisations ending FGM, child marriage and other forms of violence against women.

Today, the Global Media Campaign sub-grants to over 1,000 women's organisations and frontline activists across 10 countries, making it the biggest and arguably the most effective frontline feminist organisation in the world to end FGM.

With the support of UNFPA and the Wallace Global Fund, GMC is building the definitive Donors Grassroots Guide to Ending FGM by 2030This Donors Guide to Frontline Women's Organisations will be launched at the "solutions" conference at Women Deliver 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Thanks for taking the time to read about the work of these extraordinary frontline women's organisations building the movement to end FGM, violence against women and child marriage.

Maggie O'Kane,

Co-Founder and Executive Director of GMC

GMC Mali

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