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Testing the effectiveness of integrating community-based approaches for encouraging abandonment of female genital cutting into CARE's reproductive health programs in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Washington, D.C., Population Council, Frontiers in Reproductive Health, 2004 Dec.  p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. HRN-A-00-98-00012-00; USAID Cooperative Agreement No. HRN-A-00-98-00023-00)Between 2000 and 2002, CARE International, with technical support from the Frontiers in Reproductive Health Program of the Population Council, implemented an operations research (OR) project among the Afar people of Ethiopia and Somali refugees in Daadab camps in Kenya. The OR project aimed to assess the effectiveness of community-based female genital cutting (FGC) strategies in increasing the knowledge of harmful FGC effects and positive FGC related attitudes and intended behaviour among the intervention communities. Both communities are predominantly of Islamic faith and practice infibulation, the most severe form of FGC. In both Ethiopia and Kenya, CARE integrated FGC interventions into existing community-based reproductive and primary health care information and service delivery activities. The study in Ethiopia was designed to test the effectiveness of education activities using behaviour change communication (BCC) approaches and advocacy activities by religious and other key leaders in the intervention site. No interventions occurred in the control sites. In Kenya, both the intervention and comparison sites had education/BCC activities. The intervention site had advocacy activities in addition to education/BCC activities. The OR study assessed the effectiveness of BCC and advocacy activities versus no interventions in Ethiopia, while in Kenya the comparison was between BCC strategies alone and the combination of BCC and advocacy activities. (excerpt)
Nairobi, Kenya, Northern Aid, National Focal Point on FGM, 2001. 60 p.According to the 1998 Kenyan Demographic and Health Surveys, 38% of Kenyan women have been circumcised. The consequences of female genital mutilation (FGM) are many including, high maternal and infant mortality rates, irreversible lifelong health risks at the times of menstruation, consummation of marriage and during childbirth, immediate and long-term physical, sexual and psychological complications among others. During the past decade, different governments including the Kenyan government, international development agencies, UN and international and national organizations developed policies condemning the practice of FGM. In accordance, the National Focal Point of Kenya has compiled a directory in an effort to identify all players in this field. This directory provides a profile or organizations ranging from the Gok ministries to religious/research/counseling organizations, other local and international nongovernmental organizations and donors, including UN bodies. This directory aims to assist organizations to establish links with each other, in order to share experiences and to consolidate their efforts, as this is crucial in the eradication of FGM.
Report of the Global Action against Female Genital Mutilation Project Second Annual Inter-Agency Working Group Meeting. Held at: AVSC International, New York, November 6 and 7, 1995.
[Unpublished] 1995. , 19,  p.In November 1995, the Inter-Agency Working Group on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Meeting provided a forum for international agencies to share information on relevant policies and programs and technical knowledge in research, intervention, and evaluation and to develop ethical approaches and strategies for FGM activities. Following a summary of the welcoming remarks, the report of the meeting reviews global FGM activities in 1994. For example, Ghana outlawed FGM. Meeting participants heard an update on FGM-related presentations and/or discussions at the Beijing Conference. Next on the agenda was an overview of the current and future programs of the meeting's host, the Research, Action and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO). It revolved around grants and technical capacity building, communications and information dissemination, and the immigrant outreach project. In-country FGM-related activities in Egypt and Ethiopia were discussed next. International activities' updates were provided by UN and bilateral organizations (UNICEF, WHO, USAID, UNFPA, Overseas Development Agency, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) as well as technical agencies, private foundations, research institutions (Japan's Network for Women and Health, the Wallace Global Fund, Harvard University, Family Health International), Program for Appropriate Technologies in Health, and the Ford Foundation. A presentation by the president of the National Committee Against the Practice of Excision in Burkina Faso focused on FGM activities in Burkina Faso and addressed the plans for a West African operational research network to coordinate research activities and help integrate programs of intervention. The West Africa focus continued with a presentation on proposed projects in Mali and Ghana. New and innovative projects highlighted next included a video project in Burkina Faso and Human Rights Community Training Projects in Kenya. The meeting concluded with a discussion of strategies for the future.
The Board of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) on the occasion of a Congress held in Berlin in July 1993 adopted the following Resolution on the Genital Mutilation of Females.
INTER-AFRICAN COMMITTEE TRADITIONAL PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HEALTH OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN. NEWSLETTER. 1993 Dec; (15):10.The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) invoked the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women to condemn the practice of female genital mutilation. The IHEU further called female genital mutilation an extreme form of female subjugation that eliminates the possibility of a woman participating equally with men in the enjoyment of sexual activity and said it represents gross child abuse and an appalling assault on the physiological health of the 80-100 million girls and women affected by the practice. The IHEU pledged its full moral and financial support to efforts to ameliorate this global problem and asked its institutions to monitor the situation. IHEU member organizations were called upon to lobby their governments and nongovernmental organizations to encourage appropriate education programs and to press for appropriate legislation to eliminate female genital mutilation.
Plan of action for the eradication of harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa.
[Unpublished] 1987. 14 p.The traditional and harmful practices such as early marriage and pregnancy, female circumcision, nutritional taboos, inadequate child spacing, and unprotected delivery continue to be the reality for women in many African nations. These harmful traditional practices frequently result in permanent physical, psychological, and emotional changes for women, at times even death, yet little progress has been realized in abolishing these practices. At the Regional Seminar of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, held in Ethiopia during April 1987, guidelines were drawn by which national governments and local bodies along with international and regional organizations might take action to protect women from these unnecessary hazardous traditional practices. These guidelines constitute this "Plan of Action for the Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa." The plan should be implemented within a decade. These guidelines include both shortterm and longterm strategies. Actions to be taken in terms of the organizational machinery are outlined, covering both the national and regional levels and including special support and the use of the mass media. Guidelines are included for action to be taken in regard to childhood marriage and early pregnancy. These cover the areas of education -- both formal and nonformal -- measures to improve socioeconomic status and health, and enacting laws against childhood marriage and rape. In the area of female circumcision, the short term goal is to create awareness of the adverse medical, psychological, social and economic implications of female circumcision. The time frame for this goal is 24 months. The longterm goal is to eradicate female circumcision by 2000 and to restore dignity and respect to women and to raise their status in society. Also outlined are actions to be taken in terms of food prohibitions which affect mostly women and children, child spacing and delivery practices, and legislative and administrative measures. Women in the African region have a critical role to play both in the development of their countries and in the solution of problems arising from the practice of harmful traditions.
[Nairobi], Kenya, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health [PATH], 2000 Mar. 31 p.In Kenya, the Demographic Health Survey estimates that 38% of women aged 15-49 years have undergone one form of female genital mutilation (FGM) or another. Despite an intense post-colonial debate, the newly independent Kenya has not established specific laws or programs against FGM. In response, the Maendelo Ya Wanawake Organization, a national women's organization committed to improving the health and well-being of Kenyan women, was established with the support of Program for Appropriate Technology in Health. The organization has implemented a 2-year pilot project aimed to raise awareness about the harmful effects of FGM; promote a positive image of uncircumcised girls; and develop an alternative rite of passage for girls to replace initiation by cutting. Among its activities include garnering community support; training staff and community volunteers; and raising public awareness to effect and enable behavior change. Moreover, the project has incorporated strategies such as modification of education programs and working with communities to develop alternative rites of passage. Overall, the project has been successful where it is attributed to the support from the local women's and international organizations, and project donors who continually support the pilot project leading to behavior change.
Female genital cutting: the facts and the myths. FGC Symposium, USAID final report, Intra-Agency Working Group on FGC.
Washington, D.C., United States Agency for International Development [USAID], 1999. 20 p.Everyday, human rights of some 600 girls, mostly Africans, are at risk of being violated through female genital cutting (FGC). These girls face serious health risks such as hemorrhage, shock, pain, and infections that may eventually pose permanent damage to their health. The practice of FGC is considered a global issue since it is also practiced in Europe, North America and in some Asian countries. In view of this, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Symposium looks into the current and future opportunities for including FGC activities in USAID programs. This document is a final report on the experiences of USAID with FGC eradication efforts through a review of a wide range of FGC programs over the last 20 years. Progress in getting constructive international attention and donor involvement focused on FGC are noted by Dr. Duff Gillespie of the Center for Population, Health, and Nutrition. John Flynn of the Africa Bureau recounts his experience as mission director in Guinea working with women, religious and opinion leaders to engage in a series of discussions on FGC and other related topics.
WIN. WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL NETWORK NEWS. 2001 Spring; 27(2):60-3.This paper reports on the 5th Inter-African Committee (IAC) Regional Conference/General Assembly on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, held in Tanzania. The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Deputy Minister of Health. The welcome address was given by IAC president Berhane Ras-Work, who pointed out that the IAC had been able to establish beyond doubt the place of harmful traditional practices (HTPs) as a global issue. Dr. Wedson Mwambazi, the representative of WHO, re-emphasized in his statement the commitment of WHO to the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM) and other HTPs. Mr. Teferi Seyoum, representative of UN Family Planning Association, shared the efforts made by IAC to the fight against FGM/HTPs. A summary of the president's report includes a 3-year activity report, which was presented by Berhane Ras-Work. The senior program officer gave a summary of all the activities of IAC during the reporting period. Reports of 25 national committees presented their 3-year activity reports and reports of the activities of youth. Panel discussions were held on best practices in the eradication of HTPs by the National Committees. Finally, four papers were presented during the Conference. These include the IAC's Plan of Action, various legal instruments that protect the rights of women and children, and the emerging issue of asylum seekers.
Washington, D.C., United States Agency for International Development [USAID], .  p. (HRN-A-00-98-000001-00)Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) involves a partial or total incision of the external female genitalia or other injury to the organ whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons. There are different types of FGM known to be practiced today, with excision of the clitoris and labia minora accounting for up to 80% of all cases and infibulation as the most extreme form, which constitutes 15% of all procedures. All these procedures are irreversible, and harmful to the health of women and girls, and their effects last a lifetime. Its immediate and long-term health consequences vary according to the type and severity of the procedure performed. In cultures where it is an accepted norm, FGM is performed by a traditional practitioner without anesthesia and proper sterilization among girls of various ages for different psychosexual, sociological, hygiene and aesthetic, myths and religious reasons. Over 130 million individuals have undergone FGM with an estimated 2 million girls at high risk of being subjected with this practice annually most especially in 28 African countries. International organizations, nongovernmental organization and other interested partners have worked towards the elimination of FGM, but the overall progress have been slow which can be due to lack of coordination of prevention programs and limitation of resource investment. UN interagency teams, on the other hand, direct its efforts at changing the public view through education and awareness campaign on the harmful health effects of FGM.
Highlights from the Third Annual Inter-Agency Working Group on FGM Meeting, Cairo, Egypt, November, 1996.
[Unpublished] 1996. 13 p.In November 1996, more than 34 representatives from 20 organizations attended the Third Annual Inter-Agency Working Group meeting on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Cairo, Egypt. After opening remarks by the Chairperson of the Task Force on FGM in Egypt and the Egyptian Under Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population, other discussions placed FGM in the larger context of women's human rights, reviewed the background of the Global Action Against FGM Project and the goals of the Inter-Agency Working Group, and provided an overview of the activities of RAINBO (Research, Action, and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women). A report was then given of a research workshop organized by RAINBO and the Egyptian Task Force on FGM immediately prior to the Working Group meeting. It was noted that data from the recent Demographic and Health Survey revealed an FGM prevalence rate of 97% in Egypt, and areas requiring more research were highlighted. Discussion following this presentation included mention of qualitative methods used in a recent study in Sierra Leone and recent research in the Sudan that led to recommended intervention strategies. During the second day of the Working Group meeting, participants provided a preview of the work of the Egyptian Task Force Against FGM; a description of RAINBO's effort to develop training of trainers reproductive health and FGM materials; and summaries of the work of nongovernmental organizations, private foundations, UN agencies, and bilateral donors. This meeting report ends with a list of participants.
FAMILY PLANNING WORLD. 1994 Jan-Feb; 7, 29.While female genital mutilation has been brought into the open and is a topic of much conversation, the global community has yet to invest the necessary funds or devise a blueprint for eradication. International agencies defend their response by citing their concern that a full-blown attack on the traditional practice will simply drive it underground. Female genital mutilation can range from cutting or removing the clitoris to full-scale excision and infibulation of the genitalia. In fact, international agencies can do little more than provide funds and resources to local nongovernmental organizations working to eradicate the abuse. Population Action International (PAI) notes that recent publicity has made female genital mutilation a "hot topic." The US Congress is considering legislation to outlaw the practice that is being imported along with immigrants. PAI claims that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was reluctant to become involved in the controversy, but USAID officials say that African nations were reluctant to accept USAID's help. USAID has funded research studies on female genital mutilation and expects that its approach will follow the lead of other international agencies that have integrated eradication programs within existing projects. To date, local efforts to eradicate the practice have led to only minor successes because female genital mutilation is intrinsically tied to the status of women in developing countries. Experts insist that local organizations must lead the eradication effort with funding from international agencies.
[Unpublished] .  p.This document relays 10 lessons learned in providing communication technical assistance in programs designed to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM). 1) The community must identify FGM as an issue they are interested in working on, and the local implementing agency must request technical assistance. 2) Agencies providing technical assistance to FGM eradication programs must avoid high visibility. 3) Technical assistance is most appropriately given by local staff living and working in the particular country. 4) International agencies should strengthen the skill base of their local counterparts so the local groups can acquire the necessary communication skills to work toward eradication. 5) The local implementing organization must conduct research to guide the intervention and the target communities must be involved in designing the interventions. 6) Interventions must be very local in nature and design. 7) Workshops provide good settings for providing technical assistance and training. 8) Local-level project staff need assistance in skills training and individual-level support to deal with their sense that they are betraying their own culture. 9) Skills training helps local staff work through individual behavior change issues in order to help communities adopt behavior changes. 10) The process of behavior change takes time and requires continuity. Donors and local implementing agencies must understand that it may take as long as a generation to eradicate FGM.
[Prevention of female genital mutilation in Sweden] Forebyggande av kvinnlig konsstympning v Sverige.
NORDISK MEDICIN. 1996 Dec; 111(10):358-60.In Goteborg, Sweden, a 3-year project was carried out among immigrant women about female genital mutilation, which involved discussion, information, and training to improve the situation of the women afflicted. It is estimated that there are around 115 million such women in Africa alone. In Europe there an estimated 50,000 young women who come from areas where female genital mutilation is practiced. In Sweden there are 16,000 such women and in the Goteborg area there are 2000-3000 who are at risk of being subjected to this practice. There are no exact figures about the number of those who have undergone this operation. The procedure includes Sunna mutilation and Pharaonic mutilation. The consequences are hemorrhage, shock, damage to the urethra, sepsis, the risk of HIV infection because of scarification, urinary retention, psychological trauma, development of fistula, dyspareunia, and infertility. In recent years there has been more open discussion about this practice, which is rooted in the male domination of women in Arab and African countries. International organizations have also addressed the issue in order to prevent it: the Inter Africa Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Mothers and Children, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNESCO. The first European conference on the subject was held in 1992 in London, and preventive strategies were developed. In 1982 Sweden had already adopted a law banning the practice. In 1993 the Goteborg immigration authority initiated a 3-year project about the practice, stressing collaboration with the immigrant women and their families as well as the personnel in health facilities, social agencies, schools, and immigrant processing centers. Two working groups were formed: one for health personnel including some Somali women and one for social agency personnel. In February, 1995, the guidelines for information transferral for health personnel were presented, which are now used locally.
The Hague, Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for International Cooperation, Development Cooperation Information Department, 1995. , 216,  p.The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights conducted an inventory of international, regional, and national documents, legislation, and rules on female genital mutilation (FGM) to generate an overview of existing FGM-related regulations. Chapter 2 of the study's report presents the various forms of FGM and the countries where FGM is practiced. It also examines religion, tradition, culture, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The chapter also presents the views and attitudes of various famous researchers and authors. The legal approach to FGM has been receiving increasing attention, reaching the level of considering FGM as a health issue. Chapter 3 reviews international and regional regulations as they apply to FGM. The views and initiatives of international and regional governmental and nongovernmental organizations, particularly those initiatives aiming to eradicate FGM, are addressed in chapter 4. Chapter 5 discusses the countries of origin (e.g., Somalia), while chapter 6 discusses those of destination (e.g., Canada). Specifically, these chapters cover these countries' national legislation and their government's views on FGM. These chapters also address initiatives and programs of those national nongovernmental organizations involved in the eradication of FGM. The report concludes with a summary of the findings and various conclusions.
Cooperation by UNICEF in the elimination of traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa (Extract).
In: Report on a Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, organized by the Senegal Ministry of Public Health and the NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Dakar, Senegal, Ministry of Public Health and NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women adn Children, 1984. 182-4.This contribution begins with a statement of praise for the efforts of the Senegal conference, complimenting the conference's recognition of positive and negative influencing practices. Positive practices should be encouraged with arguments and striking examples. Attention is drawn to UNICEF document PRO-71, the product of the 1980 Inter-Organization Consultation Meeting on Combating the Practice of Female Circumcision (FC), through the improvement of women's status, and the elimination of false ideologies such as those related to the necessity of FC for the preservation of female modesty, virginity, and chastity. Further attention is drawn to the efforts of a multi-disciplinary study group on FC set up in Ivory coast. Finally, the readiness of UNICEF to further female and child health development, and growth chart, oral rehydration, breastfeeding immunization, food supplementation, family spacing, and female education developments, are discussed.
PEOPLE. 1980; 7(1):2.The widespread practice of female circumcision in Africa is opposed by some women's groups, specifically the Women's Federation of Upper Volta and a private group of the OECD staff in Paris, but their opposition is not supported by the government. An educational campaign was launched in Ouagadougou with a series of 52 educational radio talks but the programs were stopped by the government. According to Dr. Jean Taoko of the Yalgado Hospital in Ougadougou, 70% of women admitted are excised. Many women need 2 episiotomies, a cut above and below the vagina, to be able to give birth. They have been almost closed up by infibulation after circumcision. It is hoped that respected international organizations, e.g., WHO and UNICEF, will be able to bring enough pressure to bear on African governments to relieve the problem of female mutilation.
Seminar on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children, Khartoum, Sudan, February 10-15, 1979.
Alexandria, Egypt, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, 1979 Mar. 43 p.The papers presented at this seminar were "Nutritional Taboos and Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Lactation Including Breast-feeding Practice"; "Dietary Practice and Aversions during Pregnancy and Lactation Among Sudanese women"; "Traditional Feeding Practices in Pregnancy"; "Nutritional Taboos and Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Lactation Including Breast-feeding Practices"; "Traditional Practices on Confinement and After Childbirth"; "Traditional Practices in Relation to Childbirth in Kenya"; "Traditional Practices in Child Health in Sudan"; Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Ethiopia"; "Tobacco and Reproduction Health: Practices and Implications in Traditional and Modern Societies"; "Female Circumcision in the World of Today: a Global Review"; "Mental Aspects of Circumcision"; "Female Circumcision in Egypt"; and papers on female circumcision from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Other papers included "Psycho-Social Aspects of Female Circumcision"; "Sudanese Children's Concepts About Female Circumcision"; "A Study on Prevalence and Epidemiology of Female Circumcision in Sudan Today"; "Early Teenage Childbirth and its Consequences for both Mother and Child"; "Child Marriage and Early Teenage Pregnancy"; and, "Early Marriage and Teenage Deliveries in Somalia". Recommendations included breast-feeding for the health of the child and day nurseries for the mothers who work.
Lexington, Massachusetts, Women's International Network News, 1982 Nov. 338 p.This report documents the existence and prevalence in Africa and in other regions of the world of the cultural practice of female circumcision and genital mutilation (FC/GM). This serious problem is examined so that it can be abolished. Until recently the problem was hidden from the public, and most health, government and international agency officials denied that the practices were widespread. In 1979 at a World Health Organization (WHO) seminar on traditional health practices, the problem received international attention. Recommendations made by the seminar participants urged nations to adopt policies to abolish FC/GM, to establish commissions to coordinate activities aimed at abolishing the practices, and to intensify efforts to educate the public and health professionals about the problem. In 1984 it was estimated that 79.97 million women in Africa had FC/GM operations performed at some time during their life. The proportion of women who have had FC/GM operations was almost 100% in Somalia, 90% in Ethiopia, 80% in Sudan, Mali, and Sierra Leone, and 60% in Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Gambia. Information is provided on 1) the extent of the practices, 2) the health problems associated with FC/GM, 3) the 1979 WHO seminar, 4) the history of FC/GM, and 5) the cultural beliefs supporting the practices. Case histories provide detailed information on the practices in 11 African countries, 4 countries on the Arab Pennisula, and 2 Asian countries, including Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Upper Volta, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The existence of FC/GM practices in many other countries, including Western nations, is also documented. These practices are also discussed in reference to the depressed status of women in many African countries, and the role of women in these countries is examined in regard to legal matters, education, employment, agriculture, family planning, development, and urbanization. Political factors hindering the abolition of the practices and the hesitancy of international agencies such as WHO, US Agency for International Development, and the UN Children's Fund, to deal with the problem are discussed. There is some evidence that FC/GM operations are being conducted in hospitals in a number of African countries, and efforts must be made to prohibit the introduction of these practices into the modern health care system. Suggestions are provided for action and education programs aimed at abolishing FC/GM practices. An annotated bibliograpy, containing 78 references, is also provided.
Win News. 1983 Autumn; 9(4):27-30.Add to my documents.