2017-22: Fighting female genital mutilation in Egypt

The main aim of the project is to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM) as a form of gender based violence (GBV) in Egypt through a multi-sectorial approach. The medicalization of FGM has legitimised the practice and this trend should be stopped.

Tadwein and WCD and gender based violence: Facts about the project

Local partner: Tadwein and Women’s Council Denmark (WCD).

Country: Egypt.

Thematic area: Gender based violence (GBV).

The project is carried out by KVINFOs partner organization Women’s Council Denmark (WCD) who works together with the Egyptian organization Tadwein. To broaden the outreach Tadwein is working through a task force which is engaging several NGOs in the work to combat FGM in Egypt.

Background

The root causes of GBV can almost be exclusively narrowed to two main points:

  • The fundamental condition of gender inequality for women.
  • The violent, harmful and controlling aspects of masculinities, which are the results of power imbalances.

Therefore, a collaborative and coordinated response is needed, which brings together several key sectors, including the state relevant entities, the legal and justice system, NGOs, health personnel and others to effectively end FGM.

Despite different actions during the past decades, including a law against FGM, the harmful practice remains widespread in Egypt. 74 percent among girls in the age group of 13 to 17 years have been subjected to FGM.

Danish-Arab Partnership Programme

KVINFO's programme in the Middle East and North Africa is financed by:

 

According to a survey 2014 more than half of the Egyptians are in support of the continuation of the practice especially among the young population of which 70.7 percent of young females and 68.6 percent of young males surveyed intended to circumcise their future daughter(s).

The failure of the initiatives to combat FGM is due to lack of law enforcement, failing to address the medicalization of FGM and lack of coordination. A window of opportunity is the Egyptian national FGM abandonment strategy 2015-20.

Activities

The overall aims of the project 2017-22 are to:

  • Foster collaboration and networking between different NGOs working in the field of GBV.
  • Cultivate a collaborative mechanism between the national entities (relevant ministries, judiciary system, media personnel, health staff, and others) and relevant NGOs.
  • Conduct research to guide the implementation of activities targeting GBV.
  • Develop new evidence-based messages to better frame the discourse against GBV.
  • Implement advocacy campaigns targeting young people, with focus on male.
  • Encourage regional and international networking and capacity building on GBV.

This is carried out through five main activities:

  • Awareness-raising of youth with special focus on men using social media.
  • Strengthen the FGM Task Force through coordination of activities, advocacy and capacity building. To build and capacitate an FGM Task Force of NGOs which will ensure the delivery of strategic and unified interventions and messages against FGM to relevant targeted actors such as the National Council for Population, key medical institutions and young men.
  • Capacity building and awareness raising of students and staff in key medical institutions. The goal is to ensure awareness raising and capacity building of doctors and relevant medical institutions about the negative impacts of FGM besides from those addressed in the medicalization approach.
  • Advocacy towards National Population Council and other key government institutions to eradicate FGM in Egypt. To advocate key government institutions, such as the National Population Council, is a part of the work to ensure a better implementation of existing anti-FGM legislations and programmes.
  • Regional and international networking – During a networking visit to Copenhagen Tadwein for instance had a meeting with LGBT Denmark where they agreed to see the possibility of carrying out their LILO (Looking in looking out) training with one Egyptian LGBT group (Rainbow Egypt). Further agreements to whether or not, when and how still remain to be made – both considering funding opportunities and the security situation in Egypt.