Press Release: The Chain for Change Campaign, an awareness-raising effort towards ending FGM and EFM

Press Release: The Chain for Change Campaign, an awareness-raising effort towards ending female genital mutilation (FGM) and early and forced marriage (EFM)

11/10/2021

On 11 October 2021 – the International Day of the Girl Child - the CHAIN project partners, ActionAid International Italia Onlus (Milan, Italy), Equipop (Paris, France), TERRE DES FEMMES (Berlin, Germany), Save a Girl, Save a Generation (Madrid, Spain) and the End FGM European Network (Brussels, Belgium) will be launching a European awareness-raising campaign on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early and Forced Marriage (EFM). Although EFM can also affect young men and boys, these harmful practices primarily affect young women and girls and result in long-lasting damage to their quality of life.

The CHAIN for Change Campaign is designed towards affected communities and highlights the consequences of FGM and EFM. Building on the concept of "local intervention chains" at the core of the CHAIN project, the videos aim at convincing parents and affected communities to stop the generational cycle of violence by saying "no" to both harmful practices.

"Traditions and a Harmful Practice" is based on the difference between traditions, which are to be celebrated, and FGM, which is a harmful practice that must end. Characters come together to debunk the false justifications behind the practice and warn about its severe consequences.

"Another choice is possible" shows that EFM is practised in the hope that the child complies with what the community expects of them. Yet, it only provokes pain and resentment. A brighter future is possible if children are given the freedom to make their own choices.

The two animated videos, co-created with Boniato Studio & The InkLink and with the participation of affected community members (so called Community Trainers), are intended to raise awareness without judgement and with a care for cultural sensitivity.

The videos are available with a voiceover and subtitles in English and four European languages (German, Italian, French and Spanish), as well as six additional community languages (Arabic, Bambara, Roma, Somali, Tigrinya, Urdu). The community voiceovers were done in-house by the End FGM European Network with volunteer community members, to make the messages more accessible to all.

This International Day of the Girl, #JoinOurChain against FGM and EFM by sharing the Chain for Change Campaign!

The Chain Project Partners

Background

The CHAIN project is an EU co-funded project coordinated by TERRE DES FEMMES and in partnership with ActionAid International Italia Onlus, the End FGM European Network, Equipop, and Save a Girl, Save a Generation.

During the two-year project period (1.09.20 – 31.08.22), the CHAIN project aims to tackle Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early and Forced Marriage (EFM), two forms of gender-based violence – through capacity building, community empowerment and awareness raising, and giving voice to community concerns and needs at the political level.

One of the main objectives of the project is the development and implementation of local intervention chains bringing together local and national actors who are involved in responding to urgent cases of FGM and EFM.

To protect women and girls at risk and support those affected at institutional level, these intervention chains are intended to determine instructions for action in cases of threatened or already occurred FGM and/or EFM in Berlin, Madrid, Milan and Paris. A second main objective of the CHAIN project focuses on capacity-building for key professionals. The goal is to sensitize relevant professionals on EFM and FGM, the link between both practices and how to respond to any potential cases. In order to do so, the partner organisations in Italy, Germany, France and Spain trained so called Community Trainers from affected communities, who will then sensitize community leaders from various diaspora communities (religious and traditional leaders, community elders) on both topics and enter into dialogue with them. In addition, the Community Trainers provide further training to key professionals from public authorities, the health and social sectors throughout Europe, as well as formal and informal community-based organisations, to mobilise them as multipliers in tackling FGM and EFM.

The CHAIN project, finally, aims at changing attitudes towards FGM and EFM. To achieve this, End FGM EU, with the support of CHAIN partners and Community Trainers, and in collaboration with Boniato Studio and the Inklink, created the two videos of the Chain for Change Campaign.