Today is International Day to Zero Tolerance against FGM and my plea to fellow youths and especially men is to join this noble cause and stand to be counted in making this world a better place for women and girls. As youths we stand to benefit most by achievement of SDGs, with elimination of harmful cultural practices being key in realization of SDG 5. FGM affects our sisters, girlfriends, cousins, friends and the people we care most about. It has no medical benefits but the suffering it comes with is lifetime.
If you look keenly at the main reasons for FGM, they all point to increasing marriageabilty. The question begs who are the potential husbands to marry these girls? On several occasions during community dialogs I have heard the girls lament, “our potential suitors (men) are putting pressure on us and if we don’t get cut they will not marry us”. Is this love? I don’t think so.
The world population is currently more youthful than ever before. Our generation is the most informed that the world has ever had. Fellow youths when did you lastly consult your grandmother/father on which movies to watch, who to follow on twitter, which online site to visit or which TV channel to watch? Then why for God’s sake do we allow them to influence us with their archaic ways of defining beauty and womanhood.
To achieve the generational change that we so much yearn for in the fight against FGM we need to sensitize youths and adolescents with specific focus on men. We can’t afford to ignore men any longer let’s nurture our boys with the right information and we will see a progressive generation of informed men.