Today I listened to Marge Berer, Editor of Reproductive Health Matters Journal and Naana Otoo-Oyortey, MBE of FORWARD speak about reproductive rights.
There are many international legal documents and provisions but are they understood by the people it is meant to protect – women and girls? How do we disseminate information on reproductive rights? Some countries are disseminating information and awareness. However, there is still so much to do and organizations committed to designing programmes to make people aware and to disseminate important information need money and the resources to be able to do so. Some countries are really struggling to stop female genital mutilation (FMG) against girl children.
FORWARD is an organization ‘committed to enhancing the well-being and protecting the dignity of African girls and women by eliminating harmful gender-based discriminatory practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation’ – from the notice I received. FORWARD also has information from other countries beyond Africa on FMG happening in their countries.
Statistics and data collected do not always give the true picture because there are so many cases which are unreported for one reason or another. I wish that there are manuals on how to disseminate information especially international conventions protecting the rights of girl children and those women who are bound by traditional and cultural conventions and obligations and are therefore robbed of their rights.
Organizations like FORWARD need all the help they can get and resources to convince governments and communities to stamp out all forms of female genital mutilation period! Part of poverty eradication and part of the Millennium Development Goals should contain the eradication of FMG: the scourge of humanity.