Smith Nwokocha (@Phwakawaka Blog)
Just few questions for you as a passionate advocate to end FGM.
Q1. Can you tell us about yourself and the impact of your Advocacy on FGM?
Answer: My name is Lovina Ronami Inengite and my impact story of FGM through Advocacy is as follows:
- I have made social media impact through radio presentation, coordinating interview with traditional ruler’s, in Calabar, tweet storm campaign on FGM
- Providing psychosocial counseling to survivors
- I have established a smooth referral pathways between Community Based organization and Non-profit organization like Basic Rights counsel initiative, which focuses in fighting for the Rights of women and girls and against Gender Based violence and harmful practice’s.
- I have also partner with a Youth led organization, Today for tomorrow foundation Basically in Youth sensitization in secondary schools.
- Finally, I have worked with a team of passionate young individuals in educating and sensitizing women leader’s, youth leader’s in Calabar.
Q2. In your perspective, how do we position Life Planning otherwise known as Child-Birth Spacing in the mind of Young people and at the same advocate for the end of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
Answer: The following are reason(s) every young person should embrace life planning:
- It helps them practice how to make decisions, setting goals on time through negotiations, learning refusal mostly in negative peer pressure.
- It allows young persons to fully contribute to the development of society and the world at large through exploring their potentials.
- It makes them take charge of their reproductive health needs which are priotized.
- It will equip them with skills and resources to lead healthy reproductive lives as well as to grow and thrive in their careers.
- It will prevent teenage pregnancy-related health complications like teenage pregnancy etc.
- Finally, it makes young people develop biologically and move towards independence.
Effects of FGM
- Oftentimes, Women bleed to death which makes the ladies to be scared of getting
married and having children
- This practiced shows the manifestation of deeply entrenched gender inequality
- The women that are subjected to FGM has their fundamental rights infringed.. that’s right to life.
- Women are exposed to infection like tetanus from unsterilized or rusty tools used to cut
- FGM can cause a life-time of serious health problems and pain. Example: Health problems include scarring, cysts, abscesses and other tissue damage, infertility and increased susceptibility to infection such as Tetanus, and even experience pain and difficulty during sexual intercourse.
- FGM can cause life threatening child-birth complications
- FGM can have lasting consequences for girl’s and women’s mental health.
Q3. Do you foresee any challenges in question 2, if yes, what are the possible solutions you can proffer as a young Advocate?
Answer: More Advocacy on FGM should be done focusing on the following:
- Speaking out about the risks of realities of FGM, it’s effects and the fact that it has no medical benefits
- Spread understanding that religion doesn’t demand FGM
- Educate girls on their Right to decide what happens to their body.
- Engage community members, working and build partnership with CBOs
- Advocate more that there are no health benefits, only harm
- Increase support of survivors through training and confidence building of survivors of FGM which enable them Advocate for a change in their communities.
Q4. In Celebrating International Day for Zero Tolerance on FGM, were you able to align discussion on FGM to Life Planning, if no, do you have plans to further spread the news of LPAY going forward?
Yes I have plans to further create awareness of LPAY.
Thank you so much for your time!