The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has launched a worldwide media campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) and a reporting award to go along with it.
The campaign – Global Media Campaign – recognizes the critical role of media around the world in adding its voice and reach to help end FGM, he said while commending UK’s the Guardian Newspaper for its frontline initiative to bring an end to FGM in the UK, the US, the Gambia and Kenya.
“Change can happen through sustained media attention on the damaging public health consequences of FGM, as well as on the abuse of the rights of hundreds of thousands of women and girls around the world,” said Mr. Ban.
The Secretary-General also announced a new joint UNFPA-Guardian International FGM Reporting Award will be granted annually to an African reporter who has demonstrated innovation and commitment in covering FGM.
The competition winner – who will have submitted reportage on FGM – will spend two months training and working in the Guardian’s head offices in London. In Kenya, five joint UNFPA-Guardian FGM Reporting Grants will be awarded to a number of the country’s leading media houses to help support their reporting on FGM.
Ms. Maggie O’Kane from the Guardian Newspapers explained how the campaign was aimed at ending FGM by using the media to expose the negative impact of this malpractice.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Ms. Anne Waiguru said the the government was committed and willing to end FGM by working with various partners.
The Global Media Campaign against FGM is a partnership between the UN and the Guardian newspapers to garner sustained public support in the initiative.