Progress Made in The Abandonment of FGM in Nigeria

FACTS ABOUT FGM

Female genital mutilation refers to all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons. Effects of female genital mutilation also known as female circumcisions are enormous and have long term physical, emotional, psychological effects on women and girls. These include bleeding, shock, infections, leakage of urine/feces (VVF), genital tissue swelling, birth complications, emotional trauma, sexual health issues, problems with their partners/spouses and death.

About 200 million women and girls worldwide are living with the effects of female genital mutilation according to
Female genital mutilation violates the rights of women and girls. It is a form of gender-based violence.

6 states have a high prevalence of female genital mutilation in Nigeria: Imo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ebonyi, and Edo States.

 

PUBLIC DECLARATION BY COMMUNITIES TO ELIMINATE FGM

Members of the Oyo Messi Elders Council at the Oyo state public declaration to Abandon FGM

Izzi Clan, Ebonyi State

At Izzi community, a young girl in the company of two other girls fled from home one night as they were about to go through the initiation rite to womanhood which included female genital mutilation. Their brave attempt to escape led to the intervention of the child protection network, UNICEF, Ministry of women affairs and this started the process of engaging the custodians of culture in Izzi community in a sensitization effort. On the 16th of June 2017, 26 communities in Izzi clan and three other LGA (Abakaliki, Ebonyi, and Izzi) made a public declaration on the abandonment of female genital mutilation. The declaration was signed by the traditional ruler’s forum and custodians of the Izzi culture and royal fathers.

Imo State

On the 23rd of November, 2018 the several sensitization and education of many communities by UNICEF, NOA and other partners culminated into the public declaration of 28 communities in Ngor-Okpala Local government to abandon Female Genital Mutilation. At the event were the State Director NOA, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha, UNICEF Consultant on FGM for Ebonyi and Imo, Mr. Benjamin Mbakwem, traditional rulers, groups of women, men and the youths representing the various communities.

Oyo State

One of the traditional practices upheld by some parts of the Yoruba land is the act of female genital mutilation also known as female circumcision. On the 20th of December 94 communities in Oyo from Oorelope 49, Kajola 24, and Oyo West 21(LGAs) made a public declaration to abandon the practice of FGM.
After several community engagements with community members and public enlightenment with various stakeholders( artisans, youth, men and women’s groups, traditional and religious leaders) communities in Oorelope, Kajola, and Oyo West made the decision to henceforth protect the future of girls and women by putting an end to FGM.

The public declaration of these communities took place at the palace of His Royal Majesty Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III. The Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Oyo state, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu; representatives of UNICEF , Dr. Olasunmbo Odebode, Child Protection Specialist for UNICEF and Mrs Olutayo Aderonke , the UNICEF Consultant for FGM in Ekiti, Oyo and Osun explains and High chiefs of Oyo Messi were all present at the public declaration to eliminate FGM.

Benefits of public declaration: Endcuttinggirls website

Osun State

Similarly, 38 communities in Osun state held an event in 2018 where community members and stakeholders signed an undertaking to eliminate the harmful cultural practice of FGM. Osun state has the highest prevalence of FGM practice in southwest Nigeria. In the words of the UNICEF consultant on FGM for Osun, Oyo and Ekiti, Mrs. Aderonke Olutayo, “the event rewrites history and marks a new chapter for the next generation of girls and women in these communities”. The state director NOA, Osun, Mrs. Yomi Olasinde and other partners were present at this historic event.

Edo State

In January 2019, Edo State passed the Violence Against Persons Bill into Law. This law makes provision for perpetrators of Female Genital Mutilation to be sentenced to “life imprisonment”, without a fine in the state.

Media campaign on Radio, TV and social media have greatly contributed to increased awareness about the long term effect of FGM on women and girls. There are ongoing education and sensitization among school students. This is to equip the young generation with the necessary information so that they can be empowered to say NO and also prevent their own children from being cut in the future.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Over 3000 Africans to Benefit from the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (2019)

One of the factors that promote women empowerment is financial strength and economic stability. No wonder more women are striving to be managers of their own businesses.

This was evident in the number of females that applied for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme for African Entrepreneurs. 42% of the 216,025 applicants were women who slugged it out with their male counterparts. In fact, all the chosen Entrepreneurs from Seychelles are Women.

At the end of the contest, 3050 were most favored to benefit from the support that TEF and its partners are making available for African Entrepreneurs for 2019 season.

Over 3000 African Entrepreneurs drawn from all the 54 African countries are to receive seed capital of 5000 dollars each in addition to a 12-week business training programme and mentoring to boost their enterprises. The names of the successful Entrepreneurs that formed the 5th Cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship programme were announced at an event in Abuja recently.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation had committed a 100 million dollars to empower 10,000 African Entrepreneurs over a 10 year period with the aim of creating at least one million jobs and contributing over 10 billion dollars in revenue to the African economy.

L-R: Founder,Tony Elumelu Foundation, aTEF,Tony O.Elumelu,Wife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs Aisha Buhari and Trustee, Dr.Awele Elumelu.

In her remarks at the event, the Wife of the President of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari lauded the impact of the programme on the African continent and charged the selected entrepreneurs to contribute to the advancement of the continent. She said, “Indeed, I am confident that these Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs will inspire deep confidence and be of immense value not just to Nigeria but to the entire continent.”

L-R: Incoming CEO,TEF, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO TEF,Parminder Vir,Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Amb.Shimon Ben-Shoshan, Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs.Aisha Buhari, andTrustee ,TEF,Dr. Awele Elumelu.

Earlier, The founder of the foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu, explained that “every year, we face an almost impossible task to select 1,000 Entrepreneurs from the hundreds of thousands that apply. Our Entrepreneurs are hungry to effect change. We know we are only scratching the surface, we see the depth of entrepreneurial talents that all of us -government, businesses indeed African society, must harness to transform our economies and livelihoods. We must rally together to empower them and accelerate the change we want on the continent.”

The incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, announced that the programme had successfully empowered 7520 Entrepreneurs in its first five years of the 10-year programme.

Ugochukwu noted that the 2019 selection includes 2050 Entrepreneurs supported by the TEF’s partners in addition to the foundation’s Annual commitment to empowering 1000 Entrepreneurs.

The foundation’s partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the Federal Republic of Benin(Seme City), the Anambra State Government(Nigeria), Indorama, the Government of Botswana and the African Development Bank(AfDB).

In 2018, the foundation launched TEF Connect which is a digital networking platform for African Entrepreneurs and open to all, to further democratize the access to opportunities for the thousands of Entrepreneurs that cannot directly benefit from the Entrepreneurship Programme.

Meanwhile, the newly empowered 3050 entrepreneurs alongside other African Entrepreneurs would converge on Abuja, on July 26-27, 2019 for the annual Entrepreneurship forum which is said to be the largest gathering of Entrepreneurs in Africa.

Guest Post – Written by:
Afolasade Osigwe (2017 TEF journalism fellow)

Less Can Be More – How to Prevent Burnout

We all get caught up in our busy lives. In fact the 21st century answer to being productive and successful is to be overtly busy. I bet you have a long list of your to dos this week again! Take a look at it again… Here is one way to avoid a burnout. Don’t add to the statistics of those who suddenly slum and pass on.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

#MondayMotivation – Happiness is now not Tomorrow

Photo credit – Pixaby

Happiness is now not tomorrow
Choose to be happy today for if you can not enjoy today’s little blessings, you will still not be contended when tomorrow’s blessings come.

Celebrate every mile stone
Celebrate everything and everyone in your life
Be happy today not tommorrow
Afterall you are only sure of this moment
Trust that your tomorrow will be alright!

Wishing you happy moments today and this week.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

You are Not Less ; You are So Much More #IWD2019

A short message from my heart to every woman on this special day. Happy International women’s day!

 

#XXFILES women Radio crew on Premier FM 93.5 from the stable of Radio Nigeria Ibadan

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

The First Lady Mechanic in Nigeria – Sandra Aguebor #IWD2019

The International Women’s Day celebration is marked all over the world on the 8th of March every year. It is a day intended to draw attention to the peculiar challenges women face in the society and to keep tab of progress made in achieving gender equality and rights of women.

A few women making their mark in fields otherwise thought to be male terrain caught my attention and I want to bring you the story of one of them.

I present to you the woman, Sandra Aguebor known as the “The Lady Mechanic”. It is a big deal to have a woman working to repair cars and automobiles, especially in the African, Nigerian context. Sandra’s interest in car repair was sparked from as early as age 14. One day she asked her father to take her to the nearest mechanic workshop and fortunately, he didn’t frown about this and obliged her. Against her mother’s wishes and cry of, “this work is for men and not good for a woman”, Sandra started to go every day to the mechanic workshop even after school to watch and learn. Her love for the job grew and she made up her mind to pursue this career path.

Sandra Aguebor went on to become the First Female Auto-mobile Mechanic in Nigeria after graduation from school and started the “SANDEX CARE“, workshop. She offers free training empowering vulnerable girls and women with technical and mechanical skills to give them dignity and improved economic life.

Sandra soon launched the Lady Mechanic Initiative where she runs a skills acquisition programme for women from disadvantaged background and survivors of trafficking and sex slave trade; single mums and child labor victims. Because of her love for empowering girls like her who would want to pursue a career path in engineering, The Lady Mechanic Initiative also began an After School Club where Sandra and her team engaged school girls in outreaches.

Courses/training The Lady Mechanic Initiative offers
• Lady Auto-mobile Technician
• Lady Speed Boat Technician
• Lady Mechanic Professional Driver
• Lady Mechanic Speed Boat Driver
• Lady Mechanic Generator Repair Expert
• Lady Mechanic Summer School Class

The Initiative has a vision to mentor and transform 100 thousand girls/women into role models and change agents in their communities across Africa by the year 2025 through sustained innovative approaches to skill impartation and healthy mental guidance. So far about 17, 000 have benefitted from her training programmes.

Every girl can achieve her dreams – Breaking the glass ceilings. 

 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

#MondayMotivation #NuggetForAProductiveWeek

When dealing with customers/clients, ensure that you keep to that promise to deliver! Your word is your bond and it is a good way to keep customers coming back and also get great referrals.

Have a fruitful week!

 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com