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ETHIOPIA: Journalist Against FGM

Media practitioners from several African countries have resolved to launch a massive campaign in their various countries as means to create awareness in the elimination of Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs), particularly Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that continues to destroy the health of women and children.

According to them, they will design series of programs, including drama, talk shows, and organize seminars, workshops and conferences, among others as training tools to educate the public on the danger of all HTPs.

They added that they will also liaise with advocacy groups and and other non-governmental organizations to join the fight in ensuring that such harmful practices are eliminated throughout Africa.

For several years now, culture has been the backbone of the African people, but in recent times, some scholars have realized that some of the cultural practices are injurious to the health of its citizens, their state of mind and the general well-being.

At the same time, contrary to the belief that those practices were for the good of the people, they were actually meant to demean and reduce them to the status of second class citizens.

It is against this background that many women groups and other non-governmental organizations throughout Africa are calling on the governments throughout the continent to pass a law that will eliminate all harmful traditional practices that affect the lives of its citizens, especially the women and children population.

The media practitioners on Wednesday, at the close of a two-day working session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recommended that in creating the awareness to eliminate all HTPs, they will ally with policy makers, opinion leaders, and other agencies to assist in the process, and they will also keep in tie until their goal is accomplished.

Some of the countries that were represented at the media session included Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, The Gambia, Nigeria and Liberia, among others. Liberia was represented by the Director for Audio Visual Aids at the Ministry of Information, Mr. Joe T. Zaway and The INQUIRER Senior Reporter, Mrs. Melissa Chea-Annan.

The Media practitioners are therefore calling on parents, school authorities, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders and Human Rights groups, among others to join them in their fight to eliminate all of those HTPs that continue to affect the health of women and children.

The two-day media workshop was organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices affecting the health of women and children (IAC), and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

SOURCE: allAfrica.com

AUTHOR: Melissa Chea-Annan

URL: Click here

DATE: 28/11/2007

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