My mother, grandmother are all fgm survivors and in keeping up with the tradition my mother accompanied by an aunt took me to a traditional circumciser and cut me too, when I was about 10 months old in kaduna, living with my paternal grandparents at EE3 Kano road.
My sisters were not so lucky, they were cut when they were 6 months old in Minna.
For me the fight against FGM is personal because of my experience living as a survivor, which is why I refused to file for asylum in the US when I was offered the opportunity to stay.
I have been abused, threatened, bullied and harassed because of my advocacy against FGM, recently I had to report to FIDA when the abuse became physical and my life was at risk.
Since 2017, after I gave a presentation on FGM to a group of students at Iowa State University, I realised the power and importance of speaking out publicly against the practice as a survivor, this set me on the path to full fledged advocacy, helped off course by mentors and a therapist.
W.A.V.E Foundation has organised various programs in the past to sensitize the general public about FGM. This include film screening, panel discussion, tweet chat, road show, radio and tv appearances, community outreach, social media campaigns etc.
Last year in partnership with Giselle Portenier, to commemorate International Day of the girl child, WAVE Foundation organised a film screening and fireside chat on FGM in three different states. Abia, Osun and Abuja.
For us the bigger picture is to establish a safe house where we can provide needed Psycho-social support, pro bono legal services and medical support to survivors and girls at risk of FGM and create massive awareness nationwide about the harmful effects of FGM. We need the support of all major stakeholders to mobilise resources both technical and financial to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. (SDG 5)
I have been subjected to severe mental stress, emotional turmoil and psychological trauma as a result of spousal abuse which was amplified because of the global pandemic Covid19 lockdown.
I realise a lot of women and girls all over the world face the same threat, without access to help, support, shelter homes or food. This huge gap has prompted us to raise funds to buy food items for very poor women who can’t feed their families because of the Covid19 Lockdown. This women are predominantly from the informal sector which is the main source of employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for 89.2 percent of all employment (ILO 2018).
Excluding agriculture, informal employment accounts for 76.8 percent of total employment respectively.
A prolonged lockdown has put at risk the subsistence of their households. The palliative and stimulus package from the government is meant for about 3. 6 million households in a country with over 100 million people living below the poverty line, The targeted groups are in dire need and they are suffering tremendously.