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  1. 1

    Female genital mutilation/cutting and violence against women and girls strengthening the policy linkages between different forms of violence.

    United Nations. UN Women; United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]; UNICEF

    2017 Feb; New York, New York, UN Women, 2017 Feb. 20 p.

    Violence against women and girls (VAWG) manifests in different forms. These include intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, sexual exploitation and trafficking, and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child, early and forced marriage, among others. Programmes to end harmful practices and programmes to end intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence are often planned and implemented separately, despite all being rooted in gender inequality and gender-based discrimination against women and girls. While this is intended so that programmes can be tailored accordingly, it can result in isolation of initiatives that would otherwise benefit from sharing of knowledge and good practices and from strategic, coordinated efforts. This policy note explores policy and programming interlinkages and considers entry points in the areas of (i) national legislation, (ii) prevention strategies, (iii) response for survivors, and (iv) data and evidence, for increased coordination and collaboration to advance the objectives of ending FGM/C and other forms of VAWG, in particular intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. The note builds on the background paper “Finding convergence in policy frameworks: A background paper on the policy links between gender, violence against women and girls, and female genital mutilation/cutting” (available below). This policy note is intended for multiple audiences, including those directly involved in policy development, planning and implementing initiatives, those providing technical support, and advocates for ending all forms of VAWG, including FGM/C. This work is the result of a collaboration of UN Women with the UNFPA–UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C.
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  2. 2

    WHO policy on FGM / HTPs; an interview with Mark A. Belsey.


    The World Health Organization (WHO) became interested in female genital mutilation in the 1960s at the request of the Sudanese government. During the 1970s and 1980s, 2 regional offices collaborated with WHO to hold seminars on harmful traditional practices. The WHO has been limited in its ability to work in this field by the nature of its organization. Thus, it is very happy to be able to work with the Inter-African Committee (IAC) on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children because the IAC can work with national NGOs which in turn can work with national governments. The IAC, in fact, laid the groundwork for the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA 46.18) which allows the WHO regions to approach all governments in a proactive sense with a plan of action (currently being developed) to contribute to the elimination of all harmful traditional practices. This may allow humanity to reach a stage in 20 years where female genital mutilation, while not totally eradicated, will not be increasing. Then, the next generation will be free of this procedure which, especially in combination with child marriage, is a danger to the physical health of girls and young women. The WHO believes that child marriage may even be more dangerous than female genital mutilation because of the disharmony between reproductive maturity and physical maturity which allows a girl to become pregnant before her pelvis has matured. The growth of this immature pelvis may be stopped permanently by an early pregnancy and, therefore, make all subsequent child-bearing difficult. Among the traditional practices harmful to women, these 2 are the ones which require the most immediate action.
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  3. 3

    Cooperation by UNICEF in the elimination of traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa (Extract).

    Ngom MT

    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.
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