Translation, Statistics, and Funding

last updated January 2015

In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women's Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at www.endvawnow.org

Translation

  • Legislation should provide that this law shall be translated into all local languages. 
  • Legislation should provide for educational materials on this law to be created for non-literate people.
  • Legislation should also provide that during investigations or court cases licensed interpreters and cultural mediators are present to translate. Such interpreters or mediators should receive training on the issues related to FGM and should under go questioning from the court to determine they are eligible to provide accurate translation.
 
Statistical Compilation on FGM
 
Legislation should provide that a state agency is mandated to keep statistics on how many women and girls have undergone FGM or are at risk of undergoing FGM so that the issue will not be marginalized and to promote law and policy implementation.  Legislation should mandate funding to obtain statistics over many years so that changes may be noted and analyzed.
[The European Parliament] [c]alls on the Member States to quantify the number of women who have undergone FGM or are at risk in individual countries, taking into account the fact that there are as yet no figures available for many countries, which likewise do not have harmonized data-gathering systems.]
 
Tool:
 
Enhancing Capacities to Eradicate Violence Against Women is a guide to help countries and regional partnerships develop enhanced data collection and surveys to gather information about violence against women. (UN Regional Commissions, 2013).
 
Case Study: UNICEF Report on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change (2013). 
 
A 2013 report by UNICEF analyzed national surveys from 29 countries where FGM occurs most frequently to discern prevalence and attitudes of support for the practice. Based upon the surveys, which include 17 surveys completed in the last three years and, for the first time, data on girls under the age of 15, estimates on national prevalence and prevalence in ethnic sub-groups were made. The study found that eight of the 29 countries had a very high prevalence of FGM, with more than 80% of girls and women of reproductive age having been subjected to the practice. Five countries exhibited moderately high prevalence - where FGM has been practiced upon 51%-80% of the relevant population, six countries showed prevalence between 26% and 50%, four had low prevalence of 10%-25%, and in six countries, less than 10% of girls and women of reproductive age had been subjected to the practice of FGM. The researchers determined that regional and cross-border patterns for FGM prevalence corresponded to the sites of ancient empires and, to some extent, to current ethnic populations. The study found that in more than half of the 29 countries, FGM is less common among adolescent girls than middle-aged women; however, declines in the practice have occurred at different rates and at different times and vary sharply from country to country and region to region. Overall, even in countries of high prevalence, there has been a decline in the numbers of girls and women who want the practice of FGM to continue.
 
The researchers concluded that the social expectations and norms around FGM were of great importance to prevalence and to strategies for elimination. The researchers studied actual and perceived support for FGM, and the links between FGM and rural populations, socio-economic status, and education levels. The study demonstrates the complexity of the issue and the many factors which affect whether or not FGM is practiced. It provides data on the level of support of the practice among girls, women, boys, and men.
 
The researchers concluded that strategies for elimination should find a way to make attitudes which support the elimination of the practice more visible and acceptable to the group. For example, men did not support the practice in many countries, leading the researchers to conclude that entire communities should be involved as change agents. Researchers found that linking the abandonment of FGM to positive traditional and religious community values such as ‘doing no harm’ not only promoted abandonment but also helped address gender-based violence on a larger scale. The report also indicated that empowering girls was an important strategy. The study concluded by noting that that if current evidence of commitment to end FGM is sustained and gains momentum, a real transformation will take place and millions of girls will never undergo FGM.
 
UNICEF, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change(2013). Available in English.
 
Funding
 
Legislation should mandate funding to address the necessary aspects of creating change to stop the practice of FGM. This includes funding needed to implement the law, change social norms and influence individual beliefs and expectations. Funding to that end should be mandated for the child protection system, changes to the criminal justice system, to provide training and education, and to enable data collection on aspects relating to the new laws.