It is estimated that approximately 14,700 women and girls living in Switzerland have undergone or are at risk of FGM/C. In 2016, Caritas Switzerland, Terre des Femmes Switzerland, the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights and Sexual Health Switzerland came together to form the Network against female genital cutting Switzerland. Its aim is to protect girls and women from female genital cutting and to ensure medical care for those who have been subjected to it. The network is funded by the Swiss government.
What does the Network do?
The Network against Female Genital Cutting Switzerland aims to achieve its goals with a wide range of measures and offers. It operates a national contact point where both people affected by FGM/C and professionals can obtain advice. In order to ensure that those affected can receive help in their region of residence, the network supports the development of local contact points in various regions of Switzerland.
Dealing with the topic of FGM/C has been and still is a great challenge for many professionals, and there is a substantial need for information. In order to raise awareness and build capacities among professionals, the Network trains professionals and institutions from relevant areas and develops Guidelines and other tools, enhancing expertise in dealing with the topic.
The Network is convinced that legal sanctions alone are not sufficient to prevent FGM/C. Community based prevention is essential. For this reason, the network - in cooperation with key members of the diasporas - organizes events aimed at raising awareness and behavior change. It offers further training and coaching for peer educators doing this community work.
The network also aims at coordinating and developing a network of stakeholders working on the issue all over Switzerland and ensures low-threshold access to information. To this end, the Network created the website female-genital-cutting.ch in different languages. The website provides access to information and contact points for people affected by FGM/C and professionals.