Female Genital Cutting
In partnership with two Nigeria-based organizations - the National Association of Women Journalists and Women Action Research Organization - HCP used a non-confrontational approach to begin discussing this highly sensitive topic with Enugu families.
Ndukaku, or “health is better than wealth” in the local Igbo language, challenged individuals at multiple levels to examine their beliefs and values around FGC and to take action to eliminate the practice where it no longer contributed to the family, community, or societal well-being. The Ndukaku Initiative encouraged a decrease in the number of families in high prevalence communities in Enugu who practiced FGC with their infant daughters. This anti-FGC project involved community mobilization, media advocacy, capacity building of local NGOs, and behavior change communication across three levels (hamlet level, locality level, and state level).
An evaluation showed that that support for FGC declined significantly after exposure to this program In addition to increasing support for ending FGC, the proportion of women believing FGC is beneficial declined from 42.1 percent to 24.6 percent after exposure to Ndukaku.
Other findings included:
- Women who participated in Ndukaku became empowered agents for change through the community mobilization activities
- Statewide interventions which included regular newspaper columns, radio call-in shows, and public forums on FGC triggered other positive developments
- One such development was a public pronouncement against FGC from the traditional leader of Eha Amufu, who also banned the practice in his domain. His action led to a health bill before the Enugu State House of Assembly.
- WARO led the Community Action Cycle (CAC) process, assisting core community groups with developing action plans for the elimination of FGC and conducting technical sessions on FGC and other maternal health issues.
- The core groups in turn disseminated information learned during the WARO technical sessions through their community and traditional leader meetings and through health seminars and peer health education sessions
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