GAMS CoP on FGM and new publication

GAMS Belgium launched a new Community of Practice on FGM as part of the global project “Building bridges between Africa and Europe to tackle FGM/C”, with AIDOS and Equilibres & Populations, financed by the UNICEF-UNFPA Joint programme on FGM/C.

The idea behind the CoP FGM is to enable a discussion on the issue of FGM in Africa (including the 11 partner countries of the joint program) and in Europe and to offer policy makers and professionals, including those of the health care system, context-specific responses. The project places particular focus on the psycho-sexual approaches to care for women affected by FGM. The first major activity under the CoP will also concentrate on these approaches (mapping, exchanging good practice, discussions ...).

The CoP Missions of the CoP are to:

• Promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences among actors working on FGM in Europe and Africa in with a horizontal and intersectoral perspective, on both a local and an international level;

• Make techniques, tools and information accessible;

• Identify Good practices in order to improve Prevention and Care of FGM;

• Bring field work experiences to political stakeholders (national and international);

• Experts of different profiles are invited to join the Platform (scholars, health professionals, tech-nical experts, social society).

Access the blog in English and French here.

Access the COP-MGF Facebook here.

The Concerted Strategies Against FGM (CS-FGM) and GAMS Belgium have recently published a new document: “Genital Mutilations, deconstructing common beliefs”.

FGM raises strong reactions (for understandable reasons) but the general public often has a lack of knowledge and understanding of the complex realities of these practices. Therefore, there are a number of common beliefs around these practices such as : “it’s only in Africa”, “women who have undergone FGM have no sexual pleasure”, “communities who practice FGM are ‘barbarous’”, “only Muslims practice FGM”, etc. These ideas often stigmatize women and girls affected by FGM, seen as passive victims, as well as their communities.

This brochure aims to deconstruct common beliefs around FGM and favor a reflection on issues around these practices with a norm critical perspective. Thus, the publication also raises issues around genital aesthetical surgery, male circumcision, intersex genital surgeries as well as the medicalization of FGM.

The publication is available, for free, in French and Dutch, in paper form and online.