Graça Machel

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Senegal: Responding to the needs of local communities to end FGM/C

March 2016

Young girls and boys attend school in eastern Senegal. Photo: Flickr \ Angela Sevin

Young girls and boys attend school in eastern Senegal. Photo: Flickr \ Angela Sevin

Sédhiou, Senegal – To promote the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), the local parliamentary task force (Comité de Pilotage) created by the National Assembly of Senegal and AWEPA collaborated with AWEPA to support a tailor-made approach developed locally in the Sédhiou region of Senegal.

This plan was formulated in June 2015 during a delocalised event supported by AWEPA that brought together actors from different communities in Senegal to identify which activities should be implemented in order to have a real effect on FGM/C in their region.

In order to contribute to a gradual change in perceptions surrounding the practice among the local population, the tailor-made approach for the Sédhiou region covered two elements, both implemented in March 2016.

The first was a series of twelve radio programmes broadcast on local radio channels, which aimed to sensitise the local community on the dangers and consequences of FGM/C and therefore contribute to the abandonment of the practice in the Sédhiou region.

In addition, a public forum on FGM/C was held in Sédhiou on 22 March 2016. The forum brought together imams, local officials and practitioners of FGM/C from across the Sédhiou region with the aim of raising awareness among these key local actors of the health risks caused by FGM/C. Attendees engaged in open discussion on the subject, and images of the health consequences of FGM/C on women and girls were displayed in order to convince those that remain skeptical of the harmful effects of the practice.

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