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.
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).
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.
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.
Improved knowledge and attitudes among broadcasters to promote social and behaviour change around FGM
Improved capacity among broadcasters to utilise media to promote social and behaviour change around FGM
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.