FGM Elimination: UNFPA, CIRDDOC Establish male advocates in Ohozara

FGM Elimination: UNFPA, CIRDDOC Establish male advocates in Ohozara

The male gender is essential to win the fight against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in society.

The male gender which represents authority, is a strong stakeholder in and outside the home.

Positive masculinity can be harnessed to protect the rights of the female gender thereby ensuring the elimination of FGM.

To this end, The Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under the joint donor program on the elimination of FGM recently established a male coalition to promote positive masculinity and advocate for the elimination of FGM in Ohaozara council area of Ebonyi State Southeast Nigeria.

The objectives of establishing the male coalition were to strengthen a male network to respond to issues of FGM, increase the advocacy skills of male groups, and establish a male coalition to advocate and lend a strong male voice towards the abandonment of FGM.

Participants were drawn from different associations in the eight communities of Ohaozara LGA.

The UNFPA Program Support Officer, Mr. Benedict Essong stated that male coalition and involvement are crucial to ending FGM.

Mr. Essong noted that if men as heads of most households, are fully informed about the dangers of FGM, it will provide invaluable insights and experience, survivors and affected community members are uniquely positioned to unpack cultural nuances, reshape narratives, and find solutions to end FGM. These are the voices we must hear to catalyze the fight against FGM” he said

At the event, the Executive Secretary of CIRDDOC, Ms Onyinye Okaah highlighted the key concepts of masculinity, and the importance of men in society and gave a detailed explanation of positive masculinity.

Ms. Okaah urged participants to treat women with respect, use their privilege as men and boys to advocate for women, girls, and others, create and maintain friendships, show others that they are emotional, expressive, and available for boys and girls equally, and, accept that anger is no excuse for violence or abuse, create and build instead of damaging and destroying.

In addition, she pointed out how to eliminate toxic masculinity and encouraged them to raise boys with positive masculinity.

The Executive Secretary of CIRDDOC reiterated the need to promote positive masculinity and enumerated the attributes of positive masculinity.

She, further, educated the men and boys on the consequences of FGM and how it violates the rights of women and girls.

A community leader and a member of the male coalition, Mazi Ogbonnaya Onu, explained that most traditional beliefs are superstitious hence, good manners or sexual behavior is not dependent on FGM but a value system passed to children from parents.

The representative of the UNFPA officially inaugurated the male coalition.

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