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In Nigeria; 3O Adolescent Girls Become FGM Digital Skills Champion
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. In Nigeria; Thirty Adolescent Girls Become Female Genital Mutilation Digital Skills Champions

In Nigeria; Thirty Adolescent Girls Become Female Genital Mutilation Digital Skills Champions

Thirty Adolescent Girls in Nigeria learn the digitial skills to help combat Female Genital Mutilation.

“I have heard about Female Genital mutilation but not this much; now I am familiar with the laws surrounding it. I am grateful for the lesson about using digital skills to communicate the message to intending perpetrators.” – Jayeola Roda, participant.

“The digital skills and knowledge imparted during this training gave me the confidence I never knew I had. “Akinola Grace, a training participant.

Female Genital mutilation can be described as all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, which is a violation of girls’ and women’s human rights.(WH0)

In Nigeria, FGM remains a crucial issue as it ranked the third of highest prevalence in the world, thereby calling for effective measures towards addressing this harmful practice affecting young girls.

In agreement with this measure, the Center For Comprehensive Promotion of Reproductive Health (CCPRH) agreed to create awareness towards the abandonment of FGM in Nigeria through digital skills; the program aimed at equipping the participants with various activities using digital devices, platforms, and programs. 

“The digital skills and knowledge imparted during this training gave me the confidence I never knew I had. “

Akinola Grace, a training participant.

With support from the United Nations Population Fund( UNFPA) in collaboration with the Oyo state government towards ending FGM, CCPRH organized a three-day training for adolescents to become FGM digital, reaching out to people through different social media platforms. 

Speaking with one of the facilitators at the event, Mr. John Oluwafemi, a digital trainer, said the adolescent girls were introduced to office applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint Excel, and Outlook, One Note, these are set of tools and software that can help them perform various tasks related to productivity, communication, and creativity” We teach them how to do simple graphic design using canvas teaching them how to do simple design to push the FGM messages on social media.” 

“Digital Safeguarding is another topic that was treated during the training as it is important to protect adolescents from online harm such as online bullying or harassment, humiliation, theft, cyber-bullying, and cyber-hacking, to name a few. The right to digital privacy was also highlighted, as it protects and safeguards users’ personal data when accessing a service over the Internet.” Olufemi added.

“I have heard about Female Genital mutilation but not this much; now I am familiar with the laws surrounding it. I am grateful for the lesson about using digital skills to communicate the message to intending perpetrators.”

Jayeola Roda, participant.

On the next line of action, the digital trainer stated that a follow-up plan has been designed to ensure continuous monitoring of tasks after initial implementation, reaching out to the adolescent girls to see how well they are utilizing the skills learned, “After We have given them a post guide they will be in charge of the school pages to post some of the information we have trained them on, we have given them a post guide and continue to do a follow-up.”

Emiola Zainab, an Amao Group of Schools student who participated, said the training has immensely contributed to her growth. She added that it was a great privilege for her to learn about logo design, a visual communication tool that helps get messages across to the audience.

Oyinlola Memunat, a student of the Amao group of schools, said using Microsoft Word to make quality reports to share with others on the risks associated with Female Genital mutilation and its practice was an eye opener.

Mutiu Morenikeji, a student of Community High School, Ajibade Alabata, Oyo State, said, “FGM is a practice every girl must say No to.”

Adegbami Temitope, from Orogun Grammar School, Oyo State, said those who practiced FGM in the olden days claimed that it helped to curb women from being promiscuous, to preserve ethnic identity, and to back religious belief. Still, education makes us understand that FGM has adverse effects. “FGM can result in both immediate health risks and long-term complications affecting women’s physical, mental, and sexual health and well-being. Some of the effects include Infection, Menstrual & Vagina problems, and childbirth complications, to name a few.
Female Genital Mutilation practice should be eradicated, though I think it is not only practiced in this part of the world, I believe the message would be passed across globally using digital technology.” She added.

Health Facilitator Owolabi Tomiwa, who spoke on puberty hygiene, said hygiene is essentially how people take care of their body, “hygiene impacts social interaction, good hygiene allows us to interact with other people positively, proper hygiene demonstrates that you take care of and value your body. Personal hygiene becomes more important during puberty; as a child gets older, the body starts to go through changes known as puberty. Puberty usually occurs between 8 and 14 in girls and 9 and 14 boys”.

The three-day training held from 13th – 15th June 2024 also featured a discussion on the importance of promoting girls’ participation in Information and Communication Technology ( ICT), noting that girls’ inclusion fosters creativity and brings new ideas to technology development and problem-solving.

A Gender-based violence advocate who was one of the facilitators at the training, Ayanlola Oluwanife, said women’s involvement in ICT is what is trending now, “women need to get it straight that they are not limited to house chores, menial jobs, thinking that is what the brain can only carry, the reason we are starting with the younger generation today to let them know that there’s no limit to what one can learn with an open mind. We believe that when younger ones are equipped with skills to navigate, understand how to go about it, and can exploit it anywhere they find themselves,” She added.

“The core message the adolescent girls should go home with is the awareness about FGM, though some of them have heard of it, but do not know what it entails, so we trained them on how to create awareness on FGM, spread the gospel of FGM to their parents, neighbors, and peers, and give them reasons why it should be stopped.” Oluwanifemi. 

Vice Principal of Amao Group of Schools, Mrs. Oluwabumi Ipadeola, said at the training that many students have good browsing phones; the only challenge is for them to use them for educational purposes. “I can tell you that many of these students use more expensive phones than teachers. They visit different sites and watch different movies at home, but some of them pay little or no attention to some educational sites that would be of great help to them. As a teacher, I have learned a lot about using different digital platforms in a positive way, which my students did, too. This training has equipped us with skills useful for spreading FGM awareness using digital devices as one of the fattest means. “She added

The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at CCPRH, Mr. Yelotan Emmanuel, said the training was organized to teach adolescent girls to be at the forefront and how to use digital technology to sensitize their peers and communities on Female Genital Mutilation. At the end of the training, the three best-performing participants will be presented with a brand new laptop, each of which will aid in the advocacy job. This we did to align with the focus of UNFPA, which aims at ensuring that by 2030, the practice of FGM would be eradicated in our country and globally.” He added.

According to him, 30 adolescent girls were selected from private, public, and out-of-school (community) schools in the local government area for the training, which the state Ministry of Education conducted after receiving a notification about the program. 

CCPRH Director, Prof. Oladosun Ojengbende, reiterated that education is a tool for raising awareness by providing knowledge on different topics.

Prof Ojengbende, who presented the adolescent girls with a certificate of participation, charged them to make a good impact with the digital skills acquired to promote the total eradication of FGM in Oyo State and Nigeria.

To eradicate FGM, collaborative efforts are required by all stakeholders to raise awareness, provide support to those at risk, and protect the coming generation.

Tolu Laniyan

I'm Tolu Laniyan, and I'm passionate about writing engaging content for everyday life. I specialize in topics on Reproductive health, Child development, Food & Nutrition.


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