Sunday, 1 December 2013

Developing a comprehensive approach to FGM: What can you do?

A lot has been said about FGM but what can you do to help stop this horrific practise?


  • FGM strikes at the heart of our societies and involves multiple issues; only through a multidisciplinary approach can efficient progress be achieved in abandoning FGM.


  • Parliaments should work in synergy with civil society, traditional chiefs and religious leaders, women’s and youth movements and governments to ensure that their actions are complementary and coordinated.


  • Strategies for the abandonment of FGM must be developed in a framework of the promotion of human rights, the right to education, health, development and poverty reduction.


Changing mentalities


  • Parliaments should also work on awareness and changing mentalities. Because of the social status incumbent upon their office, members of parliament are in a position to address sensitive issues and have an impact on public opinion and mentalities. Awareness activities conducted jointly with community leaders, religious leaders and women’s and youth groups at the community level have a decisive impact.


  • Cooperation with the media is vital; modern and traditional media need to be involved in all strategies aimed at abandoning the practice, through awareness, communication and information campaigns.


  • It is crucial to ensure that the message sent out regarding abandonment of FGM is positive, non-judgemental and consistent. All the actors involved must speak with the same voice.


  • Education plays a fundamental role in the prevention of FGM. With this in mind, it is necessary to review school curricula at all levels, to sensitize teachers, and to keep girls in school up until they reach higher education in order to delay marriage and possibly avoid the genital mutilation that often precedes it.


  • Any action aimed at ensuring the abandonment of FGM must be coupled with initiatives for community development, in particular through the improvement of the living conditions of women and children, as part of the fight against poverty.


  • The drafting of national action plans for the abandonment of FGM should make it possible to identify the different roles and responsibilities of the actors involved, to ensure proper coordination and the complementarities of the efforts undertaken. The adoption of clear objectives with specific time frames also facilitates synergy among the various actors. So parliament has a big role to play.

It is possible to end female genital mutilation in this generation if we all play our part. No child or woman should go through this horrific practice.
Stop FGM, it is violence and abuse against women and children.

1 comment:

  1. Just as a matter of interest, what is your position on male genital mutilation?