Dakar, Senegal – Although the national average of Senegalese women and girls affected with FGM/C is 26 percent, in certain regions of Senegal, this number rises to 80 percent. Thirty-five Parliamentarians representatives of the seven regions with highest prevalence of FGM/C (namely Sédhiou, Kolda, Tambacounda, Kédougou, Louga, Saint-Louis and Matam), were invited to participate in a workshop in Dakar to spur the role of parliamentarians in accelerating the abandonment of FGM/C. Jointly organised by AWEPA, UNICEF-UNFPA and the Senegalese National Committee for Health, Population and Social and Cultural Affairs, the workshop equipped MPs with facts about the effects of FGM/C on a woman’s reproductive, emotional and psychological health. Legal and human rights experts explained how FGM/C violated the law and women’s rights. Among the different objectives set for the remainder of 2013, parliamentarians will assess the perception of the practice among their constituents, their level of knowledge about its legal and medical consequences, and finally the people’s expectations from the MPs to help end the practice.
The workshop was attended by about 40 participants, including regional MPs, national and local media, governors, imams, representatives from Tostan (NGO working with the subject in the area) and members of the host organisations. It received coverage on the national news, reflecting the country’s interest in the programme to end FGM/C.
This workshop follows activities to end FGM/C held in March this year, in Senegal.