On July 19, Frontline Ending FGM, a movement consisting of over 1,000 passionate men and women dedicated to abolishing female genital mutilation (FGM), hosted a film screening of 'A Girl from Mogadishu.'
The screening, which took place at the Kigali Marriott Hotel, shed light on the stories and experiences of activists who have fully immersed themselves in communities that practice female genital mutilation. Their mission is to educate, empower, and put an end to this harmful practice.
FGM, a cultural practice involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, remains prevalent in many regions around the world, despite being internationally recognised as a violation of human rights.
The 10-minute visual documentary produced by Global Media Campaign, features voices of FGM victims who courageously share the experience of being forced to undergo this harmful practice.
One notable aspect that stands out between the scenes is the depiction of the physical and emotional agony young girls endure, including the pain and trauma resulting from FGM, as the consequences they must face.
Moreover, it highlights the tireless efforts of activists who work to eradicate FGM mainly in rural areas of the Tana River County located in the coastal region of Kenya, where the practice is more prevalent. Activists are there to create awareness, provide education and offer support to the affected communities.
Among the frontline activists is Domtila Chesang, the founder and Executive Director of Irep Foundation, a community based organisation which advocates for the eradication of harmful cultural practices, and promotes education for the marginalised in Kenya said, "The occasion aimed to show the world that it is not the time where people have to tell us what to do. We know what is working in our communities and we are aiming for more."
"However, we are the least underfunded group yet we are doing a dank job. Less than two percent of funding goes to the grassroots hence least resources. This limits our day to day activities," she said.
Jeremiah Kipainoi, the Director of Communication at Global Media Campaign, shared the same concern, "These local frontline campaigners should be empowered, funded and trusted enough because FGM coming to an end is not just theory but practice."
"These people understand how to do it, where and who to work with at the grassroots, that is why giving them power and resources can help them achieve even bigger, hence, see the end of FMG," he said.
The screening of the documentary at the event served as a side event to the Women Deliver 2023 Conference, which commenced on July 17 in Kigali.