The Saleema Initiative provides positive communication tools that support the protection of girls from genital cutting, particularly in the context of efforts to promote collective abandonment of the practice at community level. The broad objective is to change the way that people talk about female genital cutting by promoting wide usage of new positive terminology to describe the natural bodies of girls and women.
Saleema is a word that means whole, healthy in body and mind, unharmed, intact, pristine, and untouched, in a God-given condition.Saleema is a word that means whole, healthy in body and mind, unharmed, intact, pristine, and untouched, in a God-given condition. The Saleema Communication Initiative grew out of the recognition of a critical language gap in Sudanese colloquial Arabic: despite great strides made over 30+ years of activism to increase awareness of the harm caused by FGM/C, there was still no positive term in common usage to refer to an uncircumcised woman / girl. In fact, the word widely used throughout the northern states of Sudan (ghalfa) is a pejorative term with connotations of prostitution and slavery.
Saleema materials currently include poster sets, stickers, a multimedia campaign kit comprising a song, an animated television spot, a set of 4 linked radio spots, and a set of 4 linked posters, a comic book aimed at young readers; saleema design tobes, shawls, and head scarves intended for distribution at public declarations of abandonment by community groups and networks.
The animation below is one of the communication tools launched at the inception of this year calling families to take the decision to stop the practice.