Talaso Gababa and Hiwot Girma are Amref Health Africa End-FGM/C Community Champions. We asked them about successes and hopes for ending female genital mutilation (FGM) in their communities. Amref Health Africa UK is a member of Girls’ Globe. They share first-hand perspectives from grassroots changemakers through their membership. Listen and be inspired by these champions ending female genital mutilation in Kenya and Ethiopia!
What success have you seen in your community in the movement to end female genital mutilation recently?
Hiwot Girma, Pharmacist and Amref Health Africa End-FGM/C Community Champion, Ethiopia, says:
Witnessing the efforts taken by the communities and different stakeholders to end this horrific act is unbelievable, like when the girls themselves took part to actually explain the bad consequences of FGM to their community.
Talaso Gababa, Amref Health Africa End-FGM/C Community Champion, Kenya, answers:
SUCCESS #1: The topmost clan elders in my Gabra community (the YAA council of elders) made a firm declaration on the abandonment of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). After five dialogue forums, they also made the firm commitment to speak openly with the community about the negative impact of CEFM, urging them to stop the practice completely. They also requested a joint meeting with the topmost clan elders from all five of the mountains to deliberate on ending FGM/C in the Gabra community.
SUCCESS #2: We rescued five girls from CEFM and FGM/C, all of whom are now back in school and studying. Following the rescue, all five girls were re-integrated with their families.
What are your hopes for the year ahead in the movement to end FGM?
Talaso Gababa shares:
I have a dream that one day all girls will recognise that they have a choice in saying no to FGM/C, and they will choose the future they want for themselves without being forced to undergo early marriage and FGM/C. I also hope for a future where girls and boys are given equal rights, because boys are currently protected from these harmful practices.
Remember, like I always say, I never knew I had a choice in saying no to FGM/C. I only knew that it is part of my culture, and I believed that I strongly needed to hold onto it and support it. I want other girls to understand that they have a choice.
Hiwot Girma says:
I would like to see more community champions to advocate against FGM and to engage more men to the movement. Actually make them accountable so that we can end FGM sooner.
In a time when hope seems to be in limited supply, sharing the stories of positive change can inspire us.
When we read stories of positive change, we know that change is possible and we’re more inclined to take action.
Share in the comments below!
- Let us know of any recent success you’ve seen in ending harmful practices or improving gender equality.
- Share your hopes of change for 2021!
Hiwot Girma wrote Sexual Violence During COVID-19: Insights from an Addis Ababa Healthcare Professional in August 2020.
Talaso Gababa authored Fighting FGM/C and child marriage in Kenya: “My experience is my power” in October 2020.
Learn more about the work of Amref Health Africa UK and the champions working to end female genital mutilation here.