Raising awareness about the harmful impact of Female Genital Mutilation

We are a non-profit organization using media and training others to use media to raise awareness about the harmful impact of Female Genital Mutilation in countries with high prevalence.

What is FGM?

FGM​ ​is​ ​recognised​ ​internationally​ ​as​ ​a​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​human​ ​rights​ ​of​ ​girls​ ​and​ ​women.​ ​It reflects​ ​deep-rooted​ ​inequality​ ​between​ ​the​ ​sexes,​ ​and​ ​constitutes​ ​an​ ​extreme​ ​form​ ​of discrimination​ ​against​ ​women.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​nearly​ ​always​ ​carried​ ​out​ ​on​ ​minors​ ​and​ ​is​ ​a​ ​violation​ ​of​ ​the rights​ ​of​ ​children.​ ​The​ ​practice​ ​also​ ​violates​ ​a​ ​person's​ ​rights​ ​to​ ​health,​ ​security​ ​and​ ​physical integrity,​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​be​ ​free​ ​from​ ​torture​ ​and​ ​cruel,​ ​inhuman​ ​or​ ​degrading​ ​treatment,​ ​and​ ​the right​ ​to​ ​life​ ​when​ ​the​ ​procedure​ ​results​ ​in​ ​death.

Type​ ​1

​Often​ ​referred​ ​to​ ​as​ ​clitoridectomy:​ ​the​ ​partial​ ​or​ ​total​ ​removal​ ​of​ ​the clitoris​ ​and​ ​in​ ​very​ ​rare​ ​cases,​ ​only​ ​the​ ​prepuce​ ​(the​ ​fold​ ​of​ ​skin​ ​surrounding​ ​the clitoris).

Type​ ​2

​Often​ ​referred​ ​to​ ​as​ ​excision:​ ​​​the​ ​partial​ ​or​ ​total​ ​removal​ ​of​ ​the​ ​clitoris and​ ​the​ ​labia​ ​minora,​ ​with​ ​or​ ​without​ ​excision​ ​of​ ​the​ ​labia​ ​majora.

Type​ ​3

​Often​ ​referred​ ​to​ ​as​ ​infibulation:​ ​the​ ​narrowing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​vaginal​ ​opening through​ ​the​ ​creation​ ​of​ ​a​ ​covering​ ​seal.​ ​The​ ​seal​ ​is​ ​formed​ ​by​ ​cutting​ ​and repositioning​ ​the​ ​labia​ ​minora,​ ​or​ ​labia​ ​majora,​ ​sometimes​ ​through​ ​stitching.

The​ ​change​ ​we​ ​seek​ ​to​ ​achieve

As​ ​a​ ​sector,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​firmly​ ​committed​ ​to​ ​the​ ​​ending​ ​of​ ​FGM​ ​within​ ​a​ ​generation​ ​​and​ ​we’re​ ​working collaboratively​ ​to​ ​unify​ ​efforts​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​about​ ​change​ ​strategically.​ ​As​ ​an​ ​organisation,​ ​the​ ​GMC​ ​is dedicated​ ​to​ ​delivering​ ​our​ ​unique​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​complex​ ​process.​ ​As​ ​such,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​focus​ ​our​ ​work​ ​in over​ ​the​ ​next​ ​three​ ​years​ ​to​ ​achieve​ ​the​ ​outcomes​ ​below:

Knowledge

​Improved knowledge and attitudes among broadcasters to promote social and behaviour change around FGM

Capacity

Improved capacity among broadcasters to utilise media to promote social and behaviour change around FGM

Reach

​Increased reach of target community through media products that encourage dialogue around the issue of FGM.

To do that we run five day Media​ ​Training​ ​Academies​ ​​(MTA)​ ​delivering ​intensive​ ​courses​ ​for​ ​35 broadcasters, religious leaders and campaigners​ ​with​ ​a community-level​ ​audience.​ The​ ​MTA​ ​teaches all​ ​they​ ​need​ ​to​ ​know​ ​​to​ ​effectively​ ​use​ ​media​ ​to​ ​open​ ​up​ ​conversations on​ ​FGM​ ​in​ ​their​ ​communities​ ​and​ ​also​ ​serve​ ​as​ ​a​ ​platform​ ​for​ ​journalists​ ​and​ ​activists​ ​to​ ​network with​ ​peers​ ​from​ ​other​ ​communities;​ ​laying​ ​foundations​ ​for​ ​increased​ ​confidence,​ ​collaboration​ ​and work​ ​opportunities​ ​in​ ​the​ ​future.​ ​​​The​ ​training​ ​is​ ​designed​ ​and​ ​delivered​ ​by​ ​experts​ ​in​ ​country​ ​with oversight​ ​from​ ​GMC’s​ ​experienced​ ​media​ ​team. So far we have delivered in Kenya, the Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Puntland, with plans for major religious leaders' media training in place for Somalia and Mali before the end of 2018

Who​ ​is​ ​at​ ​risk?

Procedures​ ​are​ ​mostly​ ​carried​ ​out​ ​on​ ​young​ ​girls​ ​sometime​ ​between​ ​infancy​ ​and​ ​adolescence, and​ ​occasionally​ ​on​ ​adult​ ​women.​ ​More​ ​than​ ​3​ ​million​ ​girls​ ​are​ ​estimated​ ​to​ ​be​ ​at​ ​risk​ ​for​ ​FGM annually.​ ​More​ ​than​ ​200​ ​million​ ​girls​ ​and​ ​women​ ​alive​ ​today​ ​have​ ​been​ ​cut​ ​in​ ​30​ ​countries​ ​in Africa,​ ​the​ ​Middle​ ​East​ ​and​ ​Asia​ ​where​ ​FGM​ ​is​ ​concentrated.​ ​The​ ​practice​ ​is​ ​most​ ​common​ ​in​ ​the western,​ ​eastern,​ ​and​ ​north-eastern​ ​regions​ ​of​ ​Africa,​ ​in​ ​some​ ​countries​ ​the​ ​Middle​ ​East​ ​and Asia,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​among​ ​migrants​ ​from​ ​these​ ​areas.​ ​FGM​ ​is​ ​therefore​ ​a​ ​global​ ​concern.

Cultural​ ​and​ ​social​ ​factors​ ​for​ ​performing​ ​Female​ ​Genital​ ​Mutilation

The​ ​reasons​ ​why​ ​female​ ​genital​ ​mutilations​ ​are​ ​performed​ ​vary​ ​from​ ​one​ ​region​ ​to​ ​another​ ​as well​ ​as​ ​over​ ​time,​ ​and​ ​include​ ​a​ ​mix​ ​of​ ​socio​ ​cultural​ ​factors​ ​within​ ​families​ ​and​ ​communities.​ ​The most​ ​commonly​ ​cited​ ​reasons​ ​are:

Social

​Where​ ​FGM​ ​is​ ​a​ ​social​ ​convention​ ​(social​ ​norm),​ ​the​ ​social​ ​pressure​ ​to​ ​conform​ ​to​ ​what others​ ​do​ ​and​ ​have​ ​been​ ​doing,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​accepted​ ​socially​ ​and​ ​the​ ​fear of​ ​being​ ​rejected​ ​by​ ​the​ ​community,​ ​are​ ​strong​ ​motivations​ ​to​ ​perpetuate​ ​the​ ​practice. In​ ​some​ ​communities,​ ​FGM​ ​is​ ​almost​ ​universally​ ​performed​ ​and​ ​unquestioned.

Cultural

​FGM​ ​is​ ​associated​ ​with​ ​cultural​ ​ideals​ ​of​ ​femininity​ ​and​ ​modesty,​ ​which​ ​include​ ​the notion​ ​that​ ​girls​ ​are​ ​clean​ ​and​ ​beautiful​ ​after​ ​removal​ ​of​ ​body​ ​parts​ ​that​ ​are​ ​considered unclean,​ ​unfeminine​ ​or​ ​male and is often motivated by beliefs about what is acceptable sexual behaviour aiming to ensure premarital virginity and marital fidelity.

Religious

​Many believe FGM is a religious obligation. Practised in Christian, Islamic communities and among the Bohra in India there are many who believe that FGM is required by their religion when in fact there are no religious scripts demanding adherence to the practise.

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GMC Charity to End FGM is a Charity Registered by The Charity Commission for England and Wales. Reg No. 1176359