AWEPA marks International Day of the Girl Child

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AWEPA marks International Day of the Girl Child

AWEPA Newsletter

To celebrate the “International Day of the Girl Child” on October 11, we at AWEPA would like to highlight our efforts to support local communities in West Africa to abandon Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C), a violation of the human rights of girls and women. According to the World Health Organisation, about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM, including an estimated 101 million in Africa. A recent UNICEF report (July 2013) on this issue states that more than 125 million girls and women have been subjected to FGM/C in 29 countries in Africa and the Middles East, and 30 million girls are at risk of being cut within the next decade.

As awareness of the consequences of FGM/C spreads, women should become more active in campaigning for their rights. Endorsing this global movement, AWEPA advocates for greater awareness of this issue in both Africa and Europe, as FGM/C is not yet adequately addressed in African and in European parliaments. AWEPA works in close cooperation with African MPs to sensitise communities, and to legislate for and implement an accelerated abandonment of FGM/C. Simultaneously, AWEPA cooperates with European parliamentarians, to create laws that aim to put an end to the practice in Europe, and to keep the issue of FGM/C high on the European political agenda.

In 2013, AWEPA worked in partnership with UNFPA and UNICEF on their joint programme “Female Genital Mutilation: Accelerating Change.” The following activities were implemented:

Besides these activities, AWEPA has produced a book in cooperation with Pan-African Parliament (PAP) “Guidelines for Parliamentarians on the abandonment of FGM/C”. To read more about AWEPA’s work in this field, please click here.