This book explores the phenomenon of anti-femail genital mutilation (FGM) social media activism. Against a backdrop of over 200 million girls and women worldwide affected by FGM, this volume examines key global online campaigns to end the practice, involving leading virtual platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Drawing from twenty-one fieldwork interviews with anti-FGM activists, frontline practitioners and survivors, the volume investigates opportunities and challenges inherent to cyberspace. These include online FGM bans as well as practices such as ‘cyber-misogyny’ and ‘clicktivism’.
Global campaigns featured include the UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, the WHO’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme, The Girl Generation, The Guardian’s End FGM Global Media Campaign and the Massai Cricket Warriors. Furthermore, ten case-studies document prominent anti-FGM campaigners. Firstly, five African-led narratives from celebrated activists: Efua Dorkenoo OBE, Waris Dirie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Jaha Mapenzi Dukureh and Leyla Hussein. Second, five accounts from FGM survivors interviewed for the book: Mama Sylla, Masooma Ranalvi, Farzana Doctor, Fatou Baldeh and Mariya Taher.
By exploring anti-FGM online activism, this book fills a gap in the literature which has largely overlooked FGM’s presence in cyberspace as a virtual social movement. Female Genital Mutilation and Social Media will be of interest to activists, survivors, frontline professionals, students, academics and the wider public.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction: Understanding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Social Media; 2. Finding a Voice: When FGM Survivors turn Hashtag Activists; 3. The FGM Debate: To Cut or Not to Cut?; 4. Anti-FGM Activism and the Law: A British Case Study; 5. Going Viral: Global Campaigns to End FGM and Child Marriage; 6. From Grassroots Activism to Online ‘Clicktivism’: Opportunities and Challenges; 7. Conclusion: Tackling FGM in the Digital Age; Index
Christina Julios is an Honorary Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London. She is also an Honorary Associate at The Open University and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Previously, Dr Julios was Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Ethnic Minority Foundation, and has taught at Queen Mary, University of London. She is the author of Forced Marriage and ‘Honour’ Killings in Britain: Private Lives, Community Crimes and Public Policy Perspectives (Ashgate, 2015) and Contemporary British Identity: English Language, Migrants and Public Discourse (Ashgate, 2008).