The Efua Dorkenoo Pan African Award for Reportage on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Building on their expertise and extensive networks on the ground, and following the Secretary-General’s announcement of October 2014, UNFPA and The Guardian have created the Efua Dorkenoo Pan African Award for Reportage on FGM. Efua Dorkenoo was a determined campaigner against FGM who fought for more than 30 years to protect the health and human rights of girls and women. Born and raised in Ghana, she moved to London at age 17 and dedicated her career as a health professional, expert on women’s health and activist to ending FGM.  

The Efua Dorkenoo Pan African Award for Reportage on FGM is intended to recognize the outstanding efforts of journalists reporting in print, radio and multimedia on FGM across Africa. The competition will be extended to other parts of the world in the coming years.


· Increase media engagement on FGM throughout Africa within community-based, national and regional media outlets.
· Recognize and encourage outstanding efforts of journalists throughout Africa
· Raise awareness of FGM via national and regional media outlets
· Strengthen capacity of contest winner with a one-month training at The Guardian offices in London.


FGM comprises all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.  By some estimates, 130 million girls and women between the ages 15-49 have undergone some form of FGM in the 29 countries with FG< data collected by household surveys.  The actual number remains unknown, mainly due to a lack of reliable data. 

FGM is widely practiced in 29 African countries and in some countries in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Between 3 and 4 million girls, the majority under 15 years of age, undergo the procedure every year. If current trends continue, 86 million girls born between 2010 and 2015 are at risk of being cut before 2030.  The age at which FGM is performed varies. In some areas it is carried out during infancy (as early as a couple of days after birth), in others during childhood, at the time of marriage, during a woman’s first pregnancy or after the birth of her first child.

UNFPA Focal Point:

Omar Gharzeddine
Media Specialist
Media and Communications Branch