Contextualising Community Voices in Europe

In Europe, the issue of FGM is considered a new one. Government and donors alike in the European Union, only started acknowledging its relevance in Europe more or less ten years ago. The Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women, otherwise known as the Istanbul Convention, established in August 2014, is the first treaty to acknowledge the existence of FGM in Europe and the need for it be addressed by member states systematically. However, this official recognition of FGM would not have been possible without grassroots efforts from FGM-affected communities. Indeed, without their expertise and dedication, the European fight to ending FGM would cease to exist.

This project will attempt to showcase the work done by activists and members of community-centred organisations to influence policy and legislation, shift attitudes and break stigmas. It will also seek to identify the needs, strengthen, and support affected communities. The countries that will be considered throughout the duration of the project are France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. These 6 countries have the highest rates of FGM-affected communities. There are several different communities within this country. To ensure representation, communities with the least visibility and capacity will be prioritised.

The project goals: The project aims at identifying, supporting and strengthening the work of community voices in partnership with our members, across Europe.