Workshop on the role of the media in promoting children’s rights

Sudan is the first country in Africa to outlaw the practice of female-genital mutilation (FGM)

Report by : Haffiya Abdalla

As a part of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting…. Journalist for Children Organization, in partnership with Freedom House, holds a training workshop for media professionals on: The role of the media in promoting children’s rights to protect girls from genital mutilation and mutilation and advocate for Article (141) from 12-14 February.

The opening session was addressed by the President of Journalist for Children, Yasser Mohamed Bashir, stressing the importance of raising awareness of the dangers of genital mutilation and cutting, pointing out that girls are future mothers.

Dr. Doria Al-Rayes, Head of the Department of Obstetricians and Gynecologists at the Sudanese Medical Council, presented a paper on the medical complications of female genital mutilation and cutting.

The Director of SIMA Center, Nahed Jabrallah presented a paper on Governance of Children’s Rights, reviewed the global vision and historical background of the role of civil society organizations and the current situation of genital mutilation and cutting.

She called for intensifying efforts to end the practice by 2030, according to scientific goals and plans, especially since it is an overlapping issue rooted in 28 African countries and the practice belt extends from Egypt and Sudan.

A paper on the psychological and social impact of genital mutilation and mutilation, presented by Dr. Moaz Sharafi, a psychological and social specialist, where he referred to societal violence caused by female genital mutilation and other practices.

He said that the psychological and social effects are many as a result of this practice, noting that the psychological trauma on the girl child is very large and sometimes leads to divorces due to circumcision.

In addition to reviewing the status of negative social norms in the states of North and South Darfur.

A paper on the legal status of preventing female genital mutilation and cutting (Article 141 as a model) presented by Mathaba Haj Hassan Othman, Legal Advisor and member of the Humanitarian Law Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in which she indicated that the defects of Article (141) are a private right and not public, and called for the removal of this article from the special schedule for the year or the exception and the lifting of the penalty.

Haram Sheikh Al-Din, media expert and member of the Executive Committee of Journalist for Children Organization, confirmed through her paper on the role of the media in advocating for childhood issues and changing harmful social norms (a case study of the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting), where she explained how to formulate media messages as a goal and content, in addition to planning for media and awareness campaigns and advocacy campaigns.

She stressed the importance of adhering to the media code of honor, polling children’s opinions and presenting their views, in addition to creating a media environment that puts the right to participate for children, providing adequate opportunities and joint cooperation to enhance public opinion and cooperation with grassroots associations.

She referred to the experience of the National Council for Child Welfare (Saleema Campaign), which achieved great success through the media, in addition to the participation of Reporters for Children with the National Council in developing the strategy and Salima’s website.

For her part, the Executive Director of the organization, Enaam Al-Tayeb, praised the participants and the outstanding performance in addressing issues , stressing the importance of activating Article “141” and bringing it down on the ground. Enaam acknowledged that the states need great work. She regretted that the year 2022 AD did not have programs in the states and limited work to Khartoum State. She expressed optimism about providing budgets in 2023.

Walid Ali Adam, Journalist for Children Organization in Blue Nile State, reviewed the situation of the practice of negative social norms in his state and spoke of their participation with the ChildWelfare Council in the state in launching an initiative that was born healthy since the birth of the child, and commitment to raise awareness of Article 141, in addition to implementing many programs to protect children from violations.

Participants recommended the provision of funding and the promotion of protection opportunities through awareness, through the application of the law, the non-lapse of public rights, as well as capacity building, and the establishment of a database.

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