Highlights from the Third Annual Inter-Agency Working Group on FGM Meeting, Cairo, Egypt, November, 1996.
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.