16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM CAMPAIGN

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HEAR ME TOO

For the past two weeks, we have had people talking about the #HearMeToo movement and we decided to join in and we got a couple of interesting line up of activities on our  social media platform.

Today, we have Daniel share a story to add his voice to the HearMeToo movement as the campaign comes to an end.

 In July 2018, I was on my way to the airport to get on a flight to Brazil. The weather was fine, the birds singing happily and everyone driving on the road seemed to be sane and happy. My dad turned the radio knob trying to find a radio station airing a nice program. This is where the sensitization began.

The chosen station had the OAP interviewing a lady (sadly I didn’t take note of her name because I didn’t expect what happened next). The topic was Female Genital Mutilation. I had had few discussions about this issue but the guest did justice to the topic. She started by introducing herself and speaking about the work she does and why it was important. She then vividly described what exactly FGM was.

Here’s the picture she painted, “So imagine a girl between the ages of 5-14 years being laid down on a table, very scared of the pain she’s about to go through. She is surrounded by aged and other community women who really don’t care about this because they probably went through the same system also. They urge her harshly to comport herself and ensures  she’s doing the right thing for herself, family and future husband.

There are no painkillers to be found. Nothing to make her drift off while this inhumane act goes on. She is wide awake. Watching under restrains. Her heart is racing faster than a horse. The supposed native surgeon who is a self-acclaimed midwife brings out the blades she just used for the previous victim. That is even a nice option for her because some go as far as using broken bottles or glass and knives to operate on their victims”.

After some minutes the process is completed after lots of struggle, pain and shouting. She has been stripped of what makes her a woman. Her major source of pleasure has been forcefully taken away in a bid to cut down on promiscuity. She suffers swellings and some complications for a few months and it heals up. Along the line, many other issues such as difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, chronic pain, the development of cysts, an inability to get pregnant, complications during childbirth, and fatal bleeding come up. There are no known health benefits.

Hearing this story made my body itch so badly, I almost jumped out of the car. I had clear pictures of the whole process in my head and it scarred me for weeks. This is the story of over 200 million women and girls in 27 African countries; Indonesia; Iraqi Kurdistan; and Yemen (as of 2016). No one should be put through such evil. Something has to be done.

Now that you are aware, the next thing is to join the movement to put an end to it. This can happen only through powerful activism and proper sensitization of affected communities. Change can only happen when we come together for a single cause. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. FGM is one of such violence and with your help: shares, actions and positive comments we can save the happiness of many more.

My name is Daniel Odediran and I urge you to Make a difference today.

#Orange the World

#HearMeToo

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We are a youth-led non-governmental organisation set out to advancing human rights, advocating for gender equality, enhancing quality education through policy and developmental strategies.

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