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Community based education : A strategy for engaging men to fight female genital cutting (FGC)

Djingri Ouoba, Mwangaza, 06 bp 9277 ouaga, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, + 226 36 07 70, djingriouoba@hotmail.com

The Burkina Faso 1998/1999 Demography and Health Survey reported that 72% of women aged 15 to 49 had been cut. Mwangaza Action, with financial support from USAID and GTZ, adapted and implemented a community-based education program to end FGC which had been successfully established in Senegal (TOSTAN). The program uses an integrated approach to redress women’s socio-economic status and involves the entire community in a process which often leads to a public declaration to abandon FGC and early marriage. Mwangaza rolled out the program in 23 villages in a rural province from December 2000 to March 2002. Baseline results showed men playing a big role in the decision to cut a girl: 31% of men and 36% of women said that the father was responsible for the decision to cut the daughter. Eight months later, local leaders were involved in the fight against FGC, more and more women were involved in decision-making, and 23 villages publicly committed to ending FGC. Involving men in all steps of the program allowed men to understand how cutting violates women. This approach motivated men to fight along side women to end FGC. The community-based program effected a peaceful change.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Female Genital Mutilation, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Frontiers Program in Reproductive Health/Population Council funded by USAID

Role of Relationships, Gender and Men in Reproductive Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA