iwd2024 -SPOTLIGHTING Change Makers

1. What is the name of your campaign? Can you tell us about your personal journey and what motivated you to become a change leader fighting against FGM?

The name of my campaign, “Save Young Girls from Female Genital Mutilation in Southeast and Southwest Nigeria,” is extremely meaningful, particularly in light of my own experience with the horrific practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). It has been a burden for me as a teenager. I was troubled by tales of acquaintances who had gone through this horrific ordeal, frequently with the use of unrefined implements like brooms or pistols—a shocking introduction to the hard reality that many young girls had to endure.

When I saw instances of intersex genital mutilation (IGM), which is just as painful and familiar, my awareness of the problem grew. I became really motivated to stop these horrors as a result of these experiences. However, I didn’t become aware of the terrible effects of FGM until I was serving in the West for my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), which is when I decided to step in and ask for assistance from the government.

This initiative, which aims to defend the rights and well-being of vulnerable girls and make sure that their voices are heard and respected, is motivated by my own experiences and commitment to justice.

 2. What is FGM, and how does it affect women? 

Female circumcision is another name for female genital mutilation or FGM. The destructive practice known as “female genital mutilation” involves the partial or total removal or injury of a woman’s or girl’s genitalia for purposes unrelated to medical treatment. Community members, rather than medical professionals, typically carry it out and are frequently connected to outdated stereotypes about women. The foundation of this behaviour is patriarchy.  

3. What does inclusivity mean to you in the fight against FGM? 

I often bring up Audre Lorde when discussing intersectionality and diversity because of all the amazing work she has done in these areas. The quote is as follows. “I can’t limit my resistance to just one kind of tyranny. I have to battle every one of them. I find it unbelievable that one particular group should be exempt from bigotry. The way we treat each other now will determine our future.” To me, inclusion entails this. Combating injustice in all its manifestations.

4. What does success mean to you in the fight against FGM

It’s a triumph when you can get folks to discuss the risks associated with FGM. Bringing people together and pointing out the errors in a long-held belief is a significant step. Thus, any little step we take forward in this battle is a win. Every accomplishment we have made in bringing attention to FGM feels like a victory today. 

Thank you so much for your time. 

Happy International Women’s Day