Beating female genital mutilation 'will take education not activism'

Lowering the numbers of women and girls subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) across the world requires further education among communities that practice the procedure.

This is according to Dr Bintu Adamu, a spokesperson for the International Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation (CAGeM), who said the projects run by the organisation approach people in one-to-one settings, which is preferred to larger events.

"We cannot make a community publicly denounce a tradition of several thousand years unless they know exactly how it is harming them," he explained.

"The decision to abandon FGM is as much a personal one as it is a communal one," the expert added.

CAGeM is run by physicians and volunteers and has successfully launched campaigns in 382 villages in West Africa.

The body joins up with the government and other charities to tackle the socio-cultural environment around female genital mutilation in the hope of reducing the social pressure to cut girls.

Another successful group fighting the harmful tradition is Tostan, the approach of which Julia Lalla-Maharajh, founder of UK charity Orchid, recently told British national newspaper the Independent should be encouraged because it involves both men and women in the fight to change views about the practice.

Posted by Paul RobertsonADNFCR-2094-ID-801316420-ADNFCR

World Congress 2015