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1.       Today’s live tweet-conference is the first 2018 edition of the weekly UNICEF-UNFPA Joint Program on FGM/C abandonment campaign. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr


3.      #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
4.      My name is Opeyemi Yekini (with twitter handle @ope2y) , as the anchor for today’s conference, and my co-anchor is Anthonia Okoli ( with twitter handle @Ttonia_) We shall entertain all your questions shortly, after the general presentation on the topic. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

5.      FGM/C is a typical example of harmful traditional practice(HTP). Harmful traditional practices refers to rituals, traditions or practices that have  a damaging effect on the health, physical, social, economic and psychological integrity of the victims #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
6.      FGM/C is the "any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organ for nonmedical reasons." The World Health Organization (WHO) 1997. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
7.      FGM is also known as “female Genital Cutting (FGC)”, “Female Circumcision”, or “Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)” #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
8.      The various terms emerged in an attempt to balance varying views and opinions on the practice and to appeal to all stakeholders in the elimination of the practice. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

9.      Erroneous Justification for HTP. There are different justifications for the practice of these harmful traditional practices in different communities amongst which are the prominent Justification #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
10.   Religion/custom,
Decreasing the sexual desire of women.
Better marriage prospect,
Prevent promiscuity,
Reduce excessive clitoral growth #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
9b.       Preserves virginity
Facilitates child birth by widening the birth canal fertility
Reduce death of male children at birth because if the head of the child touches clitoris the child dies
Increase female fertility #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
11.     FGM/C has immediate, intermediate and long term effects on the victims:
Immediate effects: Intense pain, haemorrhage (bleeding), shock #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

12.    Intermediate effects: Infection from use of unsterilized equipment leading to infections including HIV/AIDS; improper healing could lead to formation of keloid; injury from the struggling of the victim in pain leading to the injuring of the organs and glands #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

13.    Long term effects: Obstructed labour leading to vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) and Rectal vaginal fistula (RVF), Chronic infection  , Infertility , Painful intercourse
Urine retention from swelling , Painful or blocked menses , Urinary tract infection #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

14.   Social and economic implications : Social: Survivor  feels withdrawn/isolated, develop low self esteem as a result of complication e.g. VVF/RVF, conflict between victims and family members #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
15.   Economical: reduces victims capacity for engaging in economic ventures especially for the older ones, high financial implication of bearing complication  arising from …#endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr 14b…FGM which could have been gear towards other productive ventures, valuable time lost in the care and support for FGM survivors #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
16.   The UN CRC Article 24:3 calls upon, „states parties to take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
17.    FGM is a traditional practice which is detrimental to girls health but it can additionally be the source of the denial of many other rights prescribed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the right to protection (Article 19), the right to education (Articles 28 and 29) #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
18.   …and freedom from sexual abuse (Art. 34; FGM is linked with early marriage which can be a sanctioned form of child sexual abuse). #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
19.   Likewise, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in its General Recommendation No. 14, from its ninth session recommends that „state parties take appropriate and effective measures with a view to eradicating the practice of female circumcision.#endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
20.   Both CEDAW General Recommendation No. 19, paragraph 20, and No. 24, paragraph 15 (d) and 18, recognize FGM as a violation of women and girls right to health. No. 19 also discusses FGM as a form of gender based violence and states that the perpetuation of this practice #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
21.    …helps to maintain women in subordinate roles and contribute to the low level of political participation and to their lower level of education, skills and work opportunities (paragraph 11). #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
22.   Despite the great attention to FGM as well as a myriad of national legislation and programs to combat it, girls and women are still locked in this enduring practice. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
23.   It is difficult to overcome on the local level due to deeply held cultural, social and, at times, political significance. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
24.  The difficulty in eradication lies significantly in the fact that the practice is an identifying feature of many indigenous cultures, closely linked to a girl/womans social status. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
25.   GRANDMOTHERS are so important, and their role in changing any social norms cannot be overemphasized. Any failure to carry them along is already a failure in sight. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
26.  They might not have formal education, but their knowledge about culture and traditions is like personal religion, and whosoever wish to change their perception must approach must have adequate about the issue. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
27.   They have lived with the culture for a very long time, and if they are to change is not a day concept. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
28.  Grandmothers are so essential , that whatever they believe in , usually become the beliefs of every family member, because of the age, experience and being regarded as demigod in most cases. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
29.  Interviews by Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) of women who have been cut reveal that "a husband will prefer his wife to be circumcised" and "circumcision prevents adultery." Men who were interviewed listed the same reasons in higher proportions. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
30.  Programmes aimed at FGM-abandonment should identify the respected faith leaders and clergy of groups engaged in FGM and early marriage since they are the counselors and arbiters of moral opinion. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
31.    This an aggressive interventions and mechanisms to ensure that the FGM/C is permanently abandoned in this generation. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
32.  One new approach to the abandonment of FGM/C is the Grandmother Mainstreaming Concept (GMMC).The GMMC explicitly involves grandmothers as active assets in their communities to promote the fundamental rights of their grandchildren. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
33.  This include the abandonment of FGM/C and other harmful traditional practices
GMMC aims to bring about positive changes by including grandmothers and elderly women, a once-marginalized group. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
34.  The concept encourages learning and communal decision-making through open discussions about problems facing the community, especially harmful traditional practices centered on the children. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
35.  GMMC lead community members to identify harmful traditional practices militating against the children and reach consensus on possible solutions , leading to long-term effective changes in harmful practices. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
36. The approach is holistic towards upbringing of girls' intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral, and psychological well-being as an alternative rite of passage to FGM/C and an effort to strengthen positive cultural traditions and discard harmful ones. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
37.  The concept aims to bring greater appreciation for grandmothers' roles in disseminating positive cultural values and a positive change in communities' attitudes toward ending FGM/C as well as other harmful cultural practices, such as early marriage for girls and violence against women. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
38.  Advocacy as a key Strategy for Grandmothers Mainstreaming Concept(GMMC)

#endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

39.  Analysis is the first step to effective advocacy, just as it is the first step in any effective action.  Advocacy efforts designed to have an impact on public policy start with accurate information and in-depth understanding of the problem, #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
40.  the people involved, the policies, the implementation or non-implementation of those policies, the organisations, and the channels of access to influential people and decision-makers. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
41.   Strategy Every advocacy effort needs a strategy.  The strategy phase builds upon the analysis phase to direct, plan, and focus on specific goals and to position the advocacy effort with clear paths to achieve those goals and objectives. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
42.  Mobilisation Coalition-building strengthens advocacy.  Events, activities, messages and materials must be designed with your objectives, audiences, partnerships and resources in mind. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
43.  Action : Keeping all partners together and persistence in making the case are both essential in carrying out advocacy.  Repeating the message and using the credible materials developed over and over again helps to keep attention and concern on the issue. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
44.  Evaluation: Advocacy efforts must be evaluated as carefully as any other communication campaign.  Process evaluation may be more important and more difficult than impact evaluation. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr


#endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
46.  First stage  is the identification of an issue for policy action.  This stage is also referred to as agenda setting.  Advocates decide which problems to address and attempt to get the target institution to recognize that the problem needs action. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
47.  Second stage, solution formulation, follows rapidly.  Advocates and other key actors propose solutions to the problem and select one that is political, economically and socially feasible. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

48.  Third stage, building the political will to act on the problem and its solution, is the centerpiece of advocacy.  Actions during this stage include coalition building, meeting with decision-makers, awareness building and delivering effective messages.
           #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
49.  Fourth stage, policy action, takes place when a problem is recognized, its solution is accepted and there is political will to act, all at the same time.  This overlap is usually a short ‘window of opportunity’ which advocates must seize.  #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

50.  Final stage, evaluation, is often not reached, though it is important.  Good advocates assess the effectiveness of their past efforts and set new goals based on their experience.  #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
51.   Advocates and the institution that adopts the policy change should periodically evaluate the effectiveness of that change. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr

52.  Grandmothers have the inherent capacity to  help leading the  community to a collective decision towards the abandonment of FGM/C. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
53.  We  all grew up in the hands of our grandmothers who told us stories and prepared us for adolescent stages. That is why we are trying to do what we should have done long time ago to save tomorrow’s generation from FGM and early child marriage.” #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
54.  The grandmothers’ approach looks at the cross/inter-generation communication with an aim of changing behaviors. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
55.  A group of grand mothers who act as role models are trained and sensitised on the subject matter and thereafter encouraged to pass on the same messages to their grandchildren with the confidence that the grandmothers/elders in the communities are influential and champions. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
56.  The idea is that the grandmothers’ Children and Grandchildren listen to them and they in away possess a lot of influence on who their sons marry in addition to undertaking interactions with their daughters-in-law. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
57.   The grandmothers play a critical role at household and homestead level, adding that through them, a number of girls in the communities can remained uncut or rescued from FGM/C, mainly a result of the one-one advocacy they spearhead. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
58.  The grandmothers are oriented on issues of child protection especially the need for them to appreciate raising children as children free from all forms of harmful traditional harmful practices. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr
59.  Key Points:
Grandmothers are partners , and must be involved
Grandmothers are asset, they have a lot to contribute
Grandmothers are stakeholders , they always  wish their children and grandchildren the best, therefore they must be encouraged with the right concept. #endcuttinggirls #endVACNgr


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