Accra, Ghana, February 7, 2019 – On February 6, the world marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation with one message: that Female Genital Mutilation must end. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, clearly notes in his message to mark the 2019 observance that “Is a human rights violation, endangers the health of women and girls and causes needless pain and suffering, even death.”
The Secretary-General further indicates that “An estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subjected to this this harmful practice and every year about 4 million girls are at risk.”
The events held annually therefore aim at increasing global action to end female genital mutilation. In Ghana, the United Nations, led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), organized a stage play to raise awareness on the increasing trend of the practice. Titled “We Will Arise”, the play was written by Joshua Nana Morrison and performed by Vision Theater Company. It depicts how the practice has taken on a cross border twist to circumvent government efforts to curb the menace.
In attendance at the Ghana National Theater for this event were students and teachers from Ghana Lebanon Islamic Senior High School and guest from the public.
The National Information Officer at the United Nations Information Center – Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah, emphasized the need for every girl and woman to live a life free of violence and pain, pointing out the dangers associated with the practice for which it must be denounced by all. In conclusion, she delivered the United Nations Secretary-General’s message.
The audience expressed sadness, grief, agony amidst pockets of laughter as they watched the play.
To measure the level of impact of the program, audience shared their views. Some students gave varied comments which all points to new knowledge and the need for them to talk people, especially their relatives, out of FGM. Some also commended the efforts of the organizers in deepening awareness about FGM.