Africa celebrates the "Zero Tolerance Day" to FGM

African countries, 5-8 February 2011

No Peace Without Justice and CIAF supported these initiatives to celebrate the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, organised by their partners in several African capitals: 
Comité National de Lutte contre les Pratiques Traditionnelles (CONIPRAT)
On the 5th of February, CONIPRAT organised a conference on FGM for university students, under the auspices of the Rector of the University of Niamey. In the evening theMinister of Social Development, Promotion of Women and Child Protection, had a speech on the national radio and on TV, regarding Female Genital Mutilation. She expressed the governement engagement to eradicate FGM and to support the vote of a Resolution at the United Nations.
The 6th of February, international day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, CONIPRAT organised a ceremony at the National Museum Boubou Hama, to celebrate the abdication of the knives from former circumcisers. Were present at the ceremony: the Minister of Population, Advancement of Women and Child Protection and the Minister of Communication, Culture and New Technologies. During the event, some representatives of the Government also had the opportunity to support the worldwide ban on FGM, by signing the International Appeal supported by NPWJ and the other member of the coalition.  
On Monday the 8th February, CONIPRAT representatives had the opportunity to take part into the meeting of the cabinet, wich is held each Tuesday. In this context, they exposed to the Ministers, the recent devolpment on the activities to eradite FGM, both in Niger and at international. His Excellency the Prime Minister, was also deeply informerd by the challenges of a worldwide ban on FGM. The feedbacks were encouraging: Niger's government express it support to the adoption by the 65th United Nations General Assembly resolution. The Minister for the Advancement of Women will have the opportunity to formally express its committment during the 55th session of the Convention on the Status of Women, wich will be held in New York on 22 February.
Conseil National de lutte contre la pratique de l'excision (CSNLPE)
The Conseil National de lutte contre la pratique de l'excision (CSNLPE) organised a ministerial meeting at the presence of Priscille Zongo, Prime Minister's wife. Interventions of Marie Rose Sawadogo, permanent secretary of CSNLPE.
Read the report on the news: L'Observateur Paalga (7/2/2011), Le Pays (8/2/2011), Le Quotidien (8/2/2011)  
Youth Section of Inter African Committee on traditional practices-Togo

The celebration day of the 6 of February “ Zero Tolerance Day to FGM” was held at the Hotel CIFEX , in Agbalepedo, Lome. This conference was organized the Youth Network of Inter African Committee on traditional practices harmful to the health of women and children with the support of NPWJ.
The opening ceremony was first celebrated with a minute of silence in memory of members who died in the struggle against FGM and followed by a national hymn. The coordinator of the “ Youth Network”, David Bankati, took the table introducing the history of the 6 of February, of the strong commitment of the IAC and then by introducing the partners involved in this struggle towards an adoption of a Resolution to ban FGM worldwide at the United Nations.
David Bankati has mentioned that the struggle to ban FGM needs the government support, along with the parliamentarians and the national and international financial institutions. The succeed to aim this objective requires the synergic coordination of all the people involved against this practice in order to accelerate the process towards a Resolution at the UN.
The coordinator also gave an overview of the actions taken by the government of Togo about the elimination of FGM and the regulations adopted on this purpose since 1998 with the prohibiting law on FGM 16/98. He also urged the Youth Network to collaborate with the institutions and with the government to undertake strong actions.
The Government of Togo is well advanced in the adoption of measures to eliminate FGM at a high level. Important steps have already been undertook on this issue but we need to redouble the efforts.

Two different expositions were followed during the celebration day of the 6 of February. The first presentation, made by David Bankati, was focused on the document Resolution to ban FGM at the United Nations elaborated by NPWJ followed by the Dakar Conference. David Bankati drawed the attention to the importance of continuing the activities of the advocacy with the stakeholders along with the government. The second presentation was made by Mr Sy Makawa, of the Department of Health. He focused his presentation on the consequences of the practise of FGM.

The closing ceremony was chaired by Mr M'BA during which the President of the Presidium of the participantst hanked those who have directly or indirectly contributed to the celebration of the Day of Zero Toleranceto FGM.

CIAF Cameroon
On February 6th it was celebrated the International Day "Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation » in Yaoundé. The ceremony brought together religious and traditional leaders of Briqueterie district, well known as a stronghold of traditional practices harmful in Yaoundé. The Minister for the Advancement of Women and Family, Marie Thérèse Abena with her staff was also attending the celebration. The Cameroon section of CI-AF organised the meeting and his representative, Comfort Effiom, recalled the origins of the celebration of February 6th. 
During the day documentaries were showed explaining  the practice of female genital mutilation in a  a region far the north of Cameroon and explaing also the harmful consequences related to the practice in Burkina Faso. The news was transmitted by radio and by the public television, including the National Television Vision 4, Radio Campus, the Cameroon Tribune.
Adrienne Engono also published an article for the celebration Day of the 6 of February, on the Pan African News Agency (Panapress) talking about how the women of Cameroon regain virginity through the use of a stone called Alun. 
Information can be found at the following link http://pratiquestraditionnellesnefastesci-af. 
The subject was also addressed by a British journalist Leocadia Bongben who published an article on "The Post". Both journalists have pointed out that women are enthusiastic about using this stone also if it brings to numerous negative consequences on women's health. Sophie Besong, journalist at "Satellite Fm" radio wrote an article on female genital mutilation and rape, making a mutilates girl speaking about it.  

Women and Girlchild Empowerment Initiatives
The celebration of Zero Tolerance day in Abuja were organised with a group of young women involved by the Woman and Girlchild Empowement Initiatives. The event was the prosecution of the raise awarness campaign, started in November 2010 in different discricts of the country.