Anti-Female Genital Mutilation activists from Africa are calling all christian religious leaders to as part of the 2018 Easter celebration, use the Sunday to speak against the practice.
The activists who are from Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Kenya are part of the Global Media Campaign to End FGM’s international push, to get religious leaders across the world to condemn the practice this Easter Sunday
According to the latest United Nations figures, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), has forced about 200 million girls and women to live with side effects of the practice .
These side effects include: infection, trauma, infertility, loss of sex drive, complications in childbirth, and increased chances of children and their mothers dying childbirth – as the inflexible scars tissue caused by mutilation making giving birth more dangerous.
The activists said all religions have condemned the practice with religious figures such as Pope Francis, describing it as: “a degradation of women” .
Leading Muslim leaders from across the world are also insisting that there is nothing in the Quran to support female genital mutilation and that contrary to popular belief in many parts of the world, FGM is not a religious obligation.
The worldwide call by the anti-FGM media activists began in Kenya on Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday, with Global Media Campaign activists launching a twitter and Facebook campaign: #FGMNotMyReligion calling on all religious leaders to take part by speaking out against the practice at the Easter celebrations.
The religious media wave, which also incorporates Facebook, Instagram and twitter will spread across Africa during Easter Week. It will also incorporate the #BornPerfect – to celebrate the birth of the perfect child at Easter.
“This call out to religious leaders started in Kenya, but we want religious leaders of all persuasions – Muslims, Catholics, Evangelicals to all say it is time to stop mutilating our girls… they were born in God’s image and no man or woman has the right to mutilate them.” said Domtila Chesang, from Beyond FGM, part of a network of activists leading the religious leaders’ media campaign against FGM.
Sadia Hussein, an activist working to end FGM among the Somali community living in Kenya believes involving religious leaders in ending FGM is key.
#FGMNotMyReligion is expected to reach over 100 million views and listeners across Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Kenya with radio talk shows, TV debates and campaigns planned for twitter, Instagram and Facebook.