Summer update from our amazing Ambassadors!
Let's take a look at what our Youth and Senior Ambassadors have been up to these past 4 months...
Rafiu Olayinka Awolola had a small discussion at a small round table with people that know more about FGM to discuss more ways to eliminate the wrongful act. Ms Nnjoki from Kenya based in Hamburg narrated that the effort is especially critical because female genital mutilation leads to long-term physical, psychological and social consequences. It violates women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination, and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment. It is also a violation of medical ethics: Female genital mutilation is never safe, no matter who carries it out or how clean the venue is.
In this round table, they were able to share different opinions and new ways to solve this long-time topic and were able to identify 2 points that we can work on in our community project in Berlin with Rafiu’s team:
1-Where possible, lobby for what is needed and encourage others to collaborate. Lobbying needs to be done by everyone – survivors, activists, professionals, members of the public, at every level and across the media and across the spectrum of service delivery.
2- To recognize that FGM comes in many forms; we need to know about these many different experiences. No one can tell all the stories.
3-Acknowledge, and explain to others, why FGM is an economic crime as well as human rights and child abuse; it’s not a “cultural” practice, but a cruel historical tradition.
Wedad Almizori has contributed in different ways these past months. She has been involved in activities, courses, and house visits not only for the End FGM subject but also for domestic violence or forced marriages. She has worked with FSAN on raising awareness for Female Genital Mutation, and she is still active in this role. Moreover, she has organised house visits with people from different cultures and break the taboo on this topic. Wedad keeps learning and practising more with these topics by doing training and courses for example, and visiting different conferences. At the moment, Wedad is in Kurdistan, where women's rights and FGM are really important topics. Here she is still active in her role of being an ambassador and trying to break the taboo.
Mohamed Issa gave a presentation on “Men standing up for Gender Equality” where he explained not only the issue of FGM and the types of circumcision but also the involvement that men and boys must end Female Genital Mutilation, especially in societies where this practice is widespread. He also did an event in the Sudanese Community House in Berlin on the 25h of March.
Ayla Harding From the 13th to the 15th of May Youth Ambassador Alya Harding joined the end of the project meeting for IPPF YSAFE 'Sharing Innovations' from the Covid-19 crisis to improve access to sexuality education online. During the meeting, she shared the work she and two other youth ambassadors (Cynthia and Bassmala) supported as part of this year's programme from Instagram reels, lives and webinars. Our online activities focused on the importance of FGM in sexual education. The meeting also provided an opportunity for me to learn what other partners were doing in their home countries to advance comprehensive sexual education online.
Ayla also did an interview on the Evaluation of Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on FGM Campaign for Radio Naija: The Pan-African Media for Informing, Educating and Empowering Migrants in Diaspora. In this programme, she evaluates the consequences of this trend, with possible recommendations from experts to relevant stakeholders on what to do about it, and how to get the campaigns back on track.
The link to the online interview is: Radio Naija - A Pan-African Media (radiovoiceofnaija.org)
Amal Hussein On March 11th she was invited by the equality unit of the Complutense University of Madrid to participate in a conference on human rights, CONFERENCE "HUMAN RIGHTS, EXILE AND GENDER". Her participation focused on the importance of generating legal and social awareness-raising mechanisms for the prevention of FGM, focusing on Somalia and the European scenario, specifically in Spain. Her intervention was entitled "International, regional, community and domestic law. Shortcomings and proposals for gendered modification".
On 10 May, Amal was asked to take part in an international conference in Barcelona. This cycle was co-organised by the Social Observatory - "la Caixa" Foundation and the University Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). The main objective was to address the growing questioning of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the current situation of some of them, such as the human rights of migrants, children and women in conflict situations. She was honoured to participate with Eleanor O'Gorman, Research Associate at the Centre for Gender Studies, University of Cambridge, and Esther Barbé, Professor of International Relations at UAB and Senior Researcher at IBEI. Our panel was entitled "Women's Human Rights and Sexual Violence in Conflict". Some of the topics she focused on include: the social and political context of Somali women fleeing the country and the realities faced by women in areas with latent but forgotten conflicts and the situation of Somali women and girls in the Dadaab camps in Kenya.
Bassmala Elbushary produced a post for social media about sex education and why should FGM be introduced in sex ed. The purpose of this post was to raise awareness about this issue. Additionally, this will give awareness to the children about the relative information linked to FGM such as the consequences of FGM, helpline services and support provided to FGM survivors. On the other hand, she also produced a Twitter poll with a series of questions to the audience to raise awareness about FGM – what it is, its consequences, laws, and support for the FGM survivors. In the meantime, Bassmala aimed to investigate the public’s suggestions about how FGM can be intruded in the schools’ curriculum. The questions were: When should children learn about FGM in school? What can you do to help fight FGM in schools? What are the signs of FGM? What is the common age of girls undergoing FGM?