Notes to broadcasters: Breast ironing and female genital mutilation

    | November 18, 2013

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    November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This week’s story is about “breast ironing,” a form of violence against women. Another all-too-common way that women are violated is female genital mutilation, or FGM. FGM is a harmful cultural practice still used in many parts of Africa. FGM includes all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital area.

    What is FGM?:

    Key issues of FGM:

    Background on FGM:

    Further reading on FGM:

    Q&A: It’s the Beginning of the End for FGM is based on an interview with Mae Azango, a Liberian journalist whose coverage of FGM led to her persecution but also put pressure on the government:

    Q&A: FGM Is About Culture, Not Religion is based on an interview with Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund:

    Information on the state of FGM in the Gambia, from The Daily Observer (Banjul):

    A report on the campaign against FGM in Uganda, from the Christian Science Monitor:

    Rural women and girls have distinctive health issues: Farm Radio International resource package and Voices newsletter, published November 2007:
    -Links to scripts:

    See especially, in relation to this story, Local groups work to eradicate ‘breast ironing’ in Cameroon (FRRP #82, script 10, November 2007) at

    It is likely that half of your listeners are women. You could do a special program on their views. Are they treated with respect in the community? What is the cultural attitude towards violence against women? Can women make up their own minds on issues concerning themselves and their families, and their bodies? Can they choose what to listen to on the radio? Next week, we will produce a much more comprehensive Notes to broadcasters on violence against women, with stories from across the continent. Please do your utmost to find a way for your radio station to join the campaign to eliminate violence against women.