MaximsNewsNetwork: SUDAN - FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION - UNICEF & EUROPEAN UNION

Description: MaximsNewsNetwork: 04 September 2010 - UNICEF: Sudan - The roots of female genital cutting are tangled deep in Sudan's social and religious traditions, and reflect stark inequalities in the status of women and girls; UNICEF is working with the support of the European Union to end FGM within a generation. Female genital mutilation is widespread in this sparsely populated and conservative region. The roots of the practice are tangled deep in Sudan's social and religious traditions, and wrapped in the concepts of female honor. The Arabic word to describe an uncut girl is a word of shame. UNICEF and the European Commission are working with the Sudanese to develop a new way of thinking about girls who have not been cut and the program is based on one very carefully chosen word called Saleema. In a country as large as Sudan, mass media is essential to broadcast the positive message of Saleema and with community forums and theatre, song and dance the message is transmitted from community to community. Wearing a traditional scarf in the Saleema colors can start a conversation. The scarves, for men and women, have been distributed in more than fifteen states. More than two hundred communities have adopted the campaign. European Union support helps to get Saleema to the widest possible audience and they join with more than a hundred religious leaders to echo the dialogue. The Saleema campaign encourages conversation about human rights between families, neighbours and communities. Saleema has encouraged couples like Tahani Omar Ali and her husband to jointly decide what is best for their daughters. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Tahani Omar Ali, mother: "I remember the day of my circumcision very well indeed. I was five years old and it was a painful day. I stayed in bed for 15 days, after which it healed, but for the rest of my life I suffered. I suffer in my daily life." SOUNDBITE (English) Samira Ahmed, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist: "Saleema in itself is an Arabic word which means complete intact, whole, as god created, untouched, you know." SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Amal Mohammed Murad Saleema, trainer: "I convince them by approaching them little by little, not abruptly. I use proper logic; gaining their friendship. I use booklets and posters and seminars too." SOUNDBITE (English) Gamar Habani, Secretary General, National Council for Child Welfare: "We designed these colors as Saleema slogans. Everybody who wears is Saleema and he is support abandoning FGM. This will lead to a dialogue in community." SOUNDBITE (English) El Sadig Almadhi, Imam, former Sudanese Prime Minister: "There is a growing human rights movement in this country. There are many who are reactionary and conservative who try to speak of human rights as cultural imperialism from outside. We have done exactly the opposite to say Islam is the greatest bastion, supporter of human rights." SOUNDBITE (English) Samira Ahmed, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist: "The European Commission is one of the direct donors and major donors of this project and with support to UNICEF, UNICEF has managed to scale up the project on abandoning FGM during the last two years." SOUNDBITE (English) Gamar Habani, Secretary General, National Council for Child Welfare: "The campaign is targeting the communities, the abandonment of FGM should not be as personal act it should an act for the whole community." SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdul Atti Abdullah Ibrahim, father: "When I came across this program, Saleema, I consulted my wife. We were ready and prepared to respond to this program, a girl is born Saleema, so leave her Saleema." ...... ( UNITED NATIONS CHILDRENS FUND: UNICEF ) ... .............................................................. MaximsNewsNetwork: News Network for the United Nations and the International Community. See: http://www.MaximsNews.com. "GIVING POWER & RESONANCE TO THE VOICE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY" ..................................................................................
Duration: 00:04:36
Uploaded: 2010 Sep 05
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