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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.
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[Unpublished] 1987. 14 p.The traditional and harmful practices such as early marriage and pregnancy, female circumcision, nutritional taboos, inadequate child spacing, and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.
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.