New Report on Abandoning FGM in East and West Africa
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:00 AM

According to the UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Program on Female Genital Mutilation's 2011 annual report, 2,744 communities throughout countries in East and West Africa announced an abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM) Currently in its fourth year, the program will extend for a fifth year through 2013 due to its success. 

Countries who came out against FGM emphasized the connection between that practice and other practices detrimental to the development of women and girls.  The year was “marked by increased ownership, dynamism, and initiative on the part of national governments and implementing partners,” according to the report.  Governments not only passed laws, but also staged media campaigns against the practice and promoted the role of public health services in preventing FGM.  With greater ownership and more active leadership on the part of governments, measurable progress occurred.

Also in 2011, there were 141 cases violating national laws against FGM prosecuted in 15 countries; communities held 19,584 education sessions; there were 3,485 newspaper articles and radio programs to encourage the abandonment of the program; 300 health facilities decided to include FGM prevention in their antenatal and neonatal care practices; 3,500 health care workers received training on the harmful effects of FGM; 4,107 religious leaders denounced the practice to dispel the belief that Islam sanctions it; and nearly 1,000 religious edicts were issued in favor of abandoning FGM.

Compiled from: Accelerating Change: 2011 Annual Report - UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting now available, IGWG, (26 June 2012).