Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – UNESCO is supporting the organization of a one-month anti-FGM campaign in selected districts within the five regions with high prevalence namely Manyara, Dodoma, Arusha, Mara and Singida. The campaign is organized with financial support from SDC project, Sida O3 Project and UNDAP II- VAWC One UN fund.

The campaign kicked off in Ngorongoro on May 28 and will include a 3-day capacity-building workshop to be conducted in collaboration with Loliondo FM, a UNESCO supported community radio, followed by official launch of the campaign on 31st May and an intergeneration dialogue on ending FGM practices and traditional to be aired live by Loliondo FM.

The workshop is meant to orient key anti-FGM campaigners including media practitioners with key messages where a major public campaign through five community radios within the top five regions will be carried out there after expected to reach 1 million people.

Community radios for the public campaign with regions in brackets include Loliondo FM (Arusha), ORS (Manyara), Dodoma FM (Dodoma will also cover Singida), Triple A FM (Arusha), Mazingira FM (Mara).

The key approaches for the Ngorongoro anti-FGM campaign include a Public Campaign through Community Radios highlighted where a series of community radio sessions will be developed and broadcasted targeting community leaders, law enforcers, medical personnel, religious leaders, Ngaribas and young people (particularly out of school girls.

The other approach will involve a School-based campaign, specifically targeting pupils, students, teachers, and school-parent committees from 20 schools in Loliondo division.

Simultaneously, a Community-based campaign will take place specifically targeting parents and caretakers in 14 selected villages in Loliondo division and will take the form of parent/caretakers village/sub-village sensitization meetings.

The campaign comes in June, a month considered as high season where parents utilize the long school holidays to circumcise their girls.

UNESCO organizes the anti FGM campaign in close collaboration with the Ngorongoro District Council, the Council of Masaai traditional leaders and the Network of Community Media in Tanzania (TADIO).

Through its socio-cultural approach, UNESCO’s initiatives have gained community support and achieved notable impact including change of mind-set of some of the traditional leaders and Ngaribas (the female circumcisers).

The anti-FGM campaign is a continuation of similar ones conducted in June and December 2017 where 10 girls were rescued from the cut, with two being rescued from being married off to old men as old as 68 years old.

In Tanzania, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is deeply rooted and grounded in cultural practices and beliefs, and is an integral part of the socialization process, particularly symbolic of the passage from childhood to adulthood in the Maasai, Kurya, Gogo, Nyiramba, Mbulu, Chagga and Pare tribes. According to the Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey Report (TDHS-MIS, 2015-16), one in ten women in Tanzania has been circumcised. The top five regions in Tanzania in terms of FGM prevalence with percentage in brackets are Manyara (58%), Dodoma (47%), Arusha (41%), Mara (32%) and Singida (31%).

FGM has many health effects including recurrent urinary and vaginal infections, fistula, chronic pain, infertility, haemorrhaging, epidermoid cysts, and difficult labor.7 It has also its psychological impact and abnormalities in the female sexual function.

Media enquiries: UNESCO Dar Office, Tanzania | Mathias Herman | +255 755 195 459 | m.herman@unesco.org

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