Over the past few months, our advocacy efforts against FGM have taken us to various places to have important conversations with decision-makers and make critical contributions to policy processes.
This year, the Women Deliver Conference was held in Kigali, Rwanda, from the 17th to the 20th of July. Together with partners from Global Platform to end FGM/C we managed to secure an official full-day preconference on FGM on 16th July, with an attendance of around 150 participants. We made FGM very visible not only during that day but also during the week and plenary sessions. The main outcome of the Pre-Conference was the first wave of endorsement for the blueprint of the Kigali Declaration: “From Rhetoric to Reality: Closing the Funding Gap and Uniting for Action to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting”. The Kigali Declaration calls on donors all over the world to #ClosetheFundingGap! The conference saw activists, NGOs, academics, and grassroots organisations unite to collectively highlight the urgent need for resources. Read more about the Kigali Declaration and sign up here.
The 9Th of October kickstarted the weeklong series of events to mark the European Week of Action for Girls. From a movie screening at CineONU to a breakfast with the Spanish Presidency, this week was packed with discussions, debates and advocacy for youth advocates. Our youth ambassadors, Sherifat and Imtinan, took the stage this week to speak with decision-makers. This was a learning opportunity for them and a way to actively participate in EU decision-making by making their voices heard. Check out this message recorded by Sherifat during EWAG, asking for conversations to be had about FGM and calling on the UK Government to provide more support. Check out the EWAG website to learn more about the activities and read our accountability tool! #EU4Girls
The second annual International Conference on FGM was held in Tanzania from the 9th to the 11th of October 2023. This three-day conference brought together activists, policymakers and advocates to accelerate the fight to end FGM globally. End FGM EU was represented there by the Director. We joined our members from the Global Platform for Action to End FGM/C and the other regional networks to exchange expertise, present the findings and recommendations that came out of the Pre-Conference in Kigali, and call for regional and global actions to end FGM/C by 2030. The Conference resulted in an outcome document, which illustrates the unified voice in the global fight to end FGM and will serve to inform the drafting of binding commitments at the African Union level.
Donors Working Group, Oslo
Following a bustling October, we saw the month closing with the Donors Working Group held in Oslo on the 25th and 26th. The focus of this year was the humanitarian-development nexus and the impact of the poli-crisis on eliminating FGM. End FGM EU facilitated the representation of civil society voices and moderated one session, where we presented recommendations to donors, based on the International Stakeholder Dialogue report Preventing and Responding to Female Genital Mutilation in Emergency and Humanitarian Contexts, the outcome of the 2020 dialogue set up by the Community of Practice on FGM led by AIDOS and GAMS Belgium. Other regions most impacted by humanitarian crises were represented at the civil society session, including the newly launched Africa Network End FGM/C; the Asia Network represented by We Speak Out India, IPPF Arab World and two national associations from Sudan and Somaliland.
On November 30th, we participated in the yearly meeting of the EUAA consultative forum, held in person in Malta. On 1st December, we participated in the thematic working group meeting focusing on asylum and vulnerability. It was a unique opportunity to learn from other consultative forum members and share ideas and inputs with the Agency to ensure that fundamental rights are respected in all asylum procedures and reception. Our member Save a Girl Save a Generation was there to provide insights on the specific needs and challenges faced by FGM-affected asylum seekers in Spain.
From the Joint Statement on the VAW to the production of the UK Shadow Report for GREVIO, the final months of 2023 proved to be a busy period for the policy and advocacy team. We have continued to monitor the negotiations of the Directive on VAWDV and provided feedback on the proposed review of the Victims’ Rights Directive. See the recent publications here.