UNAF calls for the participation of communities & the leadership of young people

UNAF calls for an integral approach, the participation of communities and the leadership of young people to end female genital mutilation.

Unión de Asociaciones Familiares (UNAF) organized on February 6, International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, its eighth International Conference with the support of the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security and with the collaboration of the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID). To this end, it brought together young activists in their communities, professionals and experts from all over Europe, including the EndFGM European Network.

Aligned with the strategic objectives and lines of work of this network, one of the main conclusions of the conference was the need for coordinated action by countries of origin and destination, with transnational intervention strategies and a comprehensive approach, including "the development of migration, refuge and cooperation policies with a of human rights, sexual education from feminism and interculturality, and the psychological care and accompaniment of women and girls for prevention, reparation and care".

Another conclusion was the importance of prioritizing the voice of the communities involved and encouraging their participation. "The voices of the communities both locally and transnationally are essential in the definition of strategies, actions and decision-making to address female genital mutilation," assured the president of UNAF, Ascensión Iglesias.

However, the participation of the communities is often undermined by various situations of precariousness and discrimination. "The prevention and eradication of female genital mutilation, or the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights, can not be addressed if all fundamental rights are not addressed at the same time."

Finally, it was urged to promote the empowerment and leadership of young people as agents for social transformation. "The intergenerational dialogue contributes to the questioning of this practice, providing knowledge about its serious consequences for health in the face of false beliefs and myths that sustain it," said the president of UNAF.

In addition, young people in the diaspora, that is, those who were born or raised in Europe but whose family comes from countries where female genital mutilation is practiced, constitute a valuable bridge between two cultures and a fundamental reference to promote a sociocultural transformation that incorporate the health and equal rights approach between men and women.