The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.
ActionAid needed get more people talking about the uncomfortable subject of female genital mutilation (FGM). To highlight this most brutal of cuts, we created a #BrutalCut of our own: video messages from Kenyan girls facing FGM, unexpectedly cut into content by vloggers, influencers, and publishers.
While the UK is comparatively progressive in gender representation and civil liberties, most UK vloggers and influencers are often reluctant to back sensitive issues that may cause controversy. Especially those influencers with younger audiences. FGM especially it is considered an ‘adult’ issue, due to the frightening nature of the practice. And so we needed to approach influencers with slightly older millennial audiences. And give them an ‘ask’ that’s simple to do, and doesn’t demand for them to take on a particularly editorial stance on the issue.
The project has already helped to secure at least £250k of funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, which will help build community safe centers to protect girls from FGM. It’s rare to work on a project that is so life-changing.
Ensuring the content was authentic was a challenge (there was a risk the films wouldn’t be as strong in the local dialect), but the films had to be from the girls affected. We interviewed FGM survivors and women’s rights workers from ActionAid Kenya to ensure we communicated this issue with cultural sensitivity. It was the Kenyan local shorthand—referring to FGM as a “cut”—that inspired the idea.
The sheer volume of conversation this sparked. While there was the expected trolling, there were surprisingly positive, heartfelt, and prolonged conversations across social channels, from a variety of young people who have never previously considered issues like these.
About the Public Service & Activism category
Social media services and platforms dedicated to public service and activism pursuits. Platform agnostic—enter any and all social media that best exemplify your work.