Kenyan journalist wins first UNFPA/Guardian award for FGM reporting
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 8 February 2016 – Diana Kendi Makale, a journalist from Kenya, was selected as the winner of the first Efua Dorkenoo Pan African Award for Reportage on Female Genital Mutilation. Ms. Makale, who works for the QTV Nation Media Group, will be honoured during a ceremony to take place in Abuja, Nigeria, on Tuesday, 9 February. As the winner of the award, she will be trained for one month at The Guardian’s FGM Multimedia and Investigations Unit in London.
Created by The Guardian and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, the Efua Dorkenoo Pan African Award for Reportage on Female Genital Mutilation aims to increase awareness and engagement on female genital mutilation (FGM) within African media outlets at the community, national and regional levels. The award was named after Efua Dorkenoo, a determined Ghanaian campaigner against FGM who fought for over 30 years to protect the health and human rights of girls and women.
“FGM is discrimination,” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “It both reflects and reinforces the discrimination against women and girls.
“FGM must end,” added Dr. Osotimehin. “In September at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, 193 states unanimously agreed to a new global target of eliminating FGM by 2030. This recognition that FGM is a global concern is a critical milestone.”
The award, launched by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2014, recognizes and encourages outstanding efforts of African journalists to report on FGM, and is granted to an African reporter who has demonstrated innovation and commitment in covering the issue.
More than 90 journalists from 20 African countries submitted entries in Arabic, English and French. Ms. Makale was selected from among three finalists in the TV, radio and print categories for her ability to give a voice to the most vulnerable in remote areas, allowing FGM survivors to convey their stories in full dignity. The two other finalists were Céline Elola, from Radio Municipale de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in the radio category; and Marcelline Gnéproust, Fraternité Matin, Côte d'Ivoire, in the print category.
FGM is a practice that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. Globally, it is estimated that 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of the practice.
UNFPA, jointly with UNICEF, leads the largest global programme to accelerate FGM abandonment. The programme currently focuses on 17 African countries, and also supports regional and global initiatives.