From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Youth Network for Community and Sustainable Development (YNCSD) and the Youth Network against Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria will be partnering with youth organizations locally and internationally, as well as with several partners such as the Federal Ministry of Health, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), ENGENDER Health, YouthHubAfrica, UNICEF and more, for a week-long of activities to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with the theme “Partnering with Men and Boys to End FGM.”

In commemoration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance against FGM, YNCSD being the host of the Nigeria Youth End FGM Network will host a regional Townhall meeting on the 6th of February, 2023 with partners and stakeholders to discuss the current context of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).

The virtual conference will identify the different challenges faced by young people and youth-led organizations working at different levels to end FGM/C, identify and leverage opportunities, and strengthen collaboration amongst members towards ending

A founding member of the Nigeria Chapter of the Youth End FGM Network, Chima Raymond Ukwa has said that “one of the key initiatives that YNCSD is driving to end FGM/C in Africa is the “Men as Partners” campaign” through strategic partnership with the Nigeria Youth End FGM Network and by extension Youth Networks across the continent of Africa.

He said the campaign’s aim is to engage the youth including men and boys as active agents of change in the movement to end FGM/C. It encourages them to speak out against the practice and support girls and women in their families and communities at risk of undergoing FGM/C.

He added that the campaign would
also works with men and boys to challenge and change harmful cultural norms that perpetuate
FGM. This campaign will be launched through a new multisectoral, multi-year intiativeREIGNITE Phase II Project led by YNCSD and to kick-off in Q2 of 2023.

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“Another one of YNCSD’s flagship projects: The FREEfund Project aims to empower career cutters with new income generating skills that will support the livelihood of 50 identified career cutters and promote the abandonment of FGM/C as a source of income.

“The project connects these women with successful business owners in neighboring towns and
communities for mentorship in the focal states for a sufficient period to have them fully equipped
to be financially self-reliant and replicate these ventures in their communities.To date, these women have utilized the entrepreneurial pursuit of soap-making and cake
decoration and have stopped career-cutting.

Youth Network for Community and Sustainable Development was founded in 2015 as Youth
Network Against FGM (YNAFGM), a network of young people working to end all forms ofFemale Genital Mutilation within our active communities, in the cause of our work, we saw a need to expand to deal with other pertinent social issues that affect women and girls, hence the change of name.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
FGM is a violation of girls’ and women’s human rights.

While the exact number of girls and women worldwide who have undergone FGM remains unknown, at least 200 million girls and women have been cut in 31 countries with representative
data on prevalence.

However, the majority of girls and women in most countries with available data think FGM should end and there has been an overall decline in the prevalence of the practice over the last three decades, but not all countries have made progress and the pace of decline has been uneven. For media questions or more info about YNCSD, visit .”