Arden & GEM’s Engagement, Communications and Marketing team has launched a high profile campaign to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), on behalf of the Birmingham Against FGM partnership.
Arden & GEM CSU was asked to develop a multi-channel marketing campaign to raise awareness of the issue of FGM in advance of the summer holidays and what is known as the ‘cutting season’ – as young girls are taken abroad to undergo the practice.
Despite being illegal in the UK for over 30 years, FGM is still prevalent in the Birmingham area with 115 known instances of the practice carried out in 2015-16. Many more instances will go undetected until complications, often deadly, arise during pregnancy, labour and childbirth. As well as being illegal to carry out in Britain, it is also illegal to take girls abroad.
With proven experience in developing campaigns to tackle social taboos, the Arden & GEM team planned a series of activities that would start conversations about FGM, tell real stories, challenge myths and misconceptions and ultimately empower young girls. Using the hashtag #EndFGM, the campaign was launched at the end of June with a flash mob at Birmingham Grand Central Station, which brought together three local school choirs. Supported by a social media thunderclap, the launch reached over 275,000 people and was also covered as part of a wider FGM feature on BBC national news.
The campaign is intended to back up targeted work already underway through agencies in Birmingham, such as information talks in school classrooms, and will also include the creation of new video interviews and the distribution of new information leaflets.