MASS MEDIA MESSAGES AND ATTITUDE OF UYO URBAN WOMEN TOWARDS FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
The mass media are diversified media technologies or channels that are intended to reach a large audience by Mass Communication. The technology through which this communication takes varies. Broadcast media such as radio, recorded music, film and television transmit their information electronically. Print media use a physical object such as a newspaper, books, pamphlet or comics to distribute their information. Outdoor media is a form of mass media that comprises billboards, signs or placards placed inside and outside of commercial buildings, sports stadiums, shops and buses. Other outdoor media include flying bill boards (signs of tow of airplanes) blimps and skywriting. Public speaking and events organizing can also be considered as a form of mass media. The digital media comprises both internet and mobile mass communication.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a traditional most prevalent in Africa and the Middle East, which involves the partial or total removal or other injury to the female genital organs or non-medical reasons (World Health Organization, 2007). It has also been referred to as any practice or the alternation of the female genital (Sarkis 2003). Female Genital mutilation (FGM) is also internationally recognized as a violation as the human rights of girls and women, reflecting deep-rooted in equality between the sexes.
Since FGM is almost always carried out on minors. It is also a violation of children because it involves the partial cutting of a female clitoris. The Uyo urban women used the mass media channel, for the transmission of information to the audience in the urban areas in uyo through the use of television network, radio station newspaper etc. World Health Organization (2001) defines it as an act of interference with the natural appearance of the female external genitalia using a blade, knife or any sharp instrument in order to bring about either or reduction in size of the vulva, several world today make use of object to performed female genital mutilation forms thrive vary from culture to culture and from place to place (Okonofu 2007). Female genital mutilation comes in many forms or types. They are as follows; clitoridectomy, excision, infibulations and other with infibulations being the most invasive. Since it is a destructive operation, during which the female genitalia are partly or entirely removed with the goals of inhibiting a women’s or female child sexual feeling.
Most often, Female Genital Mutilation is performed before or after puberty or girl between the age of one, four and eight but recently it is increasingly performed on nursing babies who are only a couple of days, weeks, month old. Mass media messages and attitude of Uyo Urban women towards female genital mutilation, the women have used information to circulate messages to the public, about barbaric practice done to female gender. The female have also used multimedia equipment to show their attitude of disfavor towards female genital mutilation. A major motivation is that the practice is believed to ensure the girls conforms to key social norms, such as those related to sexual restraint, femininity, respectability and maturity. But Female genital mutilation differs from most forms of violence done against girls and women, because women are not only the victims but also involved in perpetuation of the act. The effort being made by women health and action research centre (WHARC, 20090 have openly condemned the practice and advising couples to desist from mutilating their daughters messages of this kind. Passed from former practitioners to their community members are sure to lend weight to its eradication.
Finally, education of the girls children will go a long way in the achieving of female genital mutilation eradication. In the first place, education will equipped them with the knowledge of knowing with the help of implication of (FGM) when confronted with such problems as many women faces today; they will be in a better position to argue their cases convincingly. Secondly, it will empower them in knowing when redress, when their right is refringed upon or threatened.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is revealed that there is a problem in eradicating a long standing traditional practice (Gibbs 20070. It does not happen overnight. It begins from somewhere through information and advocacy that will raise public opinion. Female Genital mutilation harms girls and women in many ways. Since it involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue and interferes with the natural function of girls and women bodies. The problems are severe pain, shock, hemorrhage (bleeding) tetanus or sepsis sores (bacterial infections) urine retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital tissue, pricking, piercing, incising, scrabbling and cauterizing the genital area recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections, cysts, infertility, the needs for latter surgeries increase of childbirth death etc.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were to;
- find out if the mass media messages have effected on the attitude of Uyo Urban women towards Female Genital Mutilation.
- find out how Uyo urban women change the attitude towards Female Genital Mutilation.
- find out the practice of female genital mutilation portrays the image of women.
- find out if the messages spread by the mass media has remedied the situation.
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions are as follows:
- Does mass media messages has effect on the attitude of Uyo urban women towards Female Genital Mutilation?