We are lauching today our new discussion during which we will explore the links between Economy and female genital mutilation. Economic issues can be considered both in terms of causes and in terms of consequence of FGM. You will find the thematic note attached, in which both aspects are addressed.
In a first time, we have considered socio-economic factors such as poverty, the level of education, women’s economic and social independence, as potential driving forces of FGM. As we know, Female genitalmutilations is linked to power relations between men and women, the gendered status of women and girls in a given society as well as their level of autonomyand action. Power, of course, is profoundly linked to economic development and property law. Thus, we will discuss issues around how women’s socio-economic situation, their opportunities in terms of employment and education, and the level of poverty, are linked to FGM. And thus, whether economic development can foster abandonment of FGM.
Besides, in a second, it also important to consider economic and social costs of FGM. Indeed, it is also known that FGM has important social and medical costs, as shown in WHO’s 2010 study on “Obstetriccosts of female genital mutilation in six African countries” and the WHO FGM cost calculation tool that will be presented on February 6th, international day against female genital mutilation. We will report directly from the launch of and will engage in a discussion around this tool and on how this information can be used in the design and implementation ofFGM abandonment programmes.
In this way, we have raised the following questions to the members’ attention:
- Do you see a relationship between standard of living, poverty, education rate of girls, economic autonomy of women – and FGM, in your country ?
- Do you have examples of projects aiming at women’s empowerment and having had a positive effect on the FGM prevalence rate?
- Is there information about the cost of FGM in your country? How do you use this information in your work?
We invite you to engage and share any information and resources you have on this topic !