Still as part of our use of market media to sensitize Oyo state residents on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), we were at Oke Ado Market in Ibadan South Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Oke Ado is known to be the former home of Western Nigeria’s Premier, the late Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo. For us, we were therefore on a good terrain in terms of educating people about a harmful traditional practice. And it was also free education!
Our audio recording was played. The recording has voices of an Imam and a pastor and also one of our staff addressing the ills of Female Genital Mutilation and why it should be stopped. The market leader, Mrs. Dupe Adeshina identified with our cause and we were excited to hear that she also does not believe FGM should continue. We, however, got four different reactions at the market –
- FGM is not done in most part of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and according to a friend of Adeshina at the market, she was ‘not mutilated and is also not promiscuous.’
- How does FGM cause marital problems, a woman asked? There are those curious to know how Female Genital Mutilation causes marital problems. In this case, the explanation of severe pain during sexual intercourse was offered.
- It is wrong to cut girls. “I was cut at the age of 6 and went through a lot of pain but then, I won’t cut my children.’
- ‘FGM helps a woman to give birth without stress.’ When we heard this, we were shocked and had to offer the right information to the woman. She came to our stand after hearing our recorded Igbo jingle. We were happy that this helped us communicate our message clearly.
As part of our market media campaign, we shared 50 EndFGM wristbands and 107 publications and stickers written in both English and Yoruba. In all, we were able to reach out to about 350 people at Oke-ado market.