The Community of practice on Female Genital Mutilation
What is the CoP on FGM?
Launched in 2017, the Community of practice on Female Genital Mutilation (CoP FGM) is a bilingual network (FR/EN) of professionals and activists from all continents, working on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The CoP FGM aims to put an end to FGM and to promote women and girl’s wellbeing and human rights.
What is a Community of Practice?
A Community of Practice (CoP) is a ” group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better by interacting regularly”. This is a way for professionals, civil society organisations, researchers, to interact online around a specific topic.
Building bridges for an end to Female Genital Mutilation
The CoP FGM is part of the project “Building bridges between Africa and Europe to stop FGM” led by the Italian NGO AIDOS, in partnership with GAMS Belgium.
The project aims to favor mutual learning on FGM, by bringing together professionals and activists and allowing them to share their experiences in order to improve their actions of prevention, advocacy, support of affected women and girls, as well as associated policies.
Building Bridges to end FGM is financed by the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint programme to Eliminate FGM.
The CoP on FGM is an Activity coordinated by GAMS Belgium.
The Charter of the CoP FGM members
The Charter of the CoP FGM was written by a member committee and was finalized in 2019. It offers general orientations to the CoP FGM and ensures both the respect of common norms and the diversity of the members and their approaches. It recognizes FGM as a complex topic and that the eradication of it needs the sharing of good practices and constructive critical thinking.
Every member must commit to respecting the Charter when participating in the CoP FGM.
Our goal is the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the promotion of the wellbeing and human rights of women and girls.
This community of practice enables professionals and activists to interact within the frame of mutual learning and to improve their actions of prevention, advocacy and care for concerned persons, as well as related policies.
The CoP FGM is a heterogenous group. We encourage non-technical, accessible and simple communication, ensuring that all members can understand and participate. All subjects related to FGM can be debated in the CoP FGM. A discussion can be launched by any member or by the moderators. We encourage analytical and constructive analysis. The debate must remain focused on the theme and have as a main goal the collective learning of the group.
Extracts of the CoP FGM Charter
Support exchanges between members
The CoP FGM is open to all persons concerned by FGM in their work (on grass-roots, research, communication or advocacy levels…) or activism, present everywhere in the world, with a particular focus on the African and European continents. Professionals with a variety of profiles (social workers, educators, researchers, health professionals, law makers, civil society, technical experts, journalists, international institutions, students, religious- and community leaders, etc) are invited to join the CoP FGM.
The Community of practice on FGM mainly functions online, using an email list (Google group) that enables members to communicate. Members are free to spontaneously share information, reports, updates on projects or requests for information with other members on the list.
Thematic discussions are also launched regularly on specific topics. These discussions aim to favor knowledge and best practice sharing around distinct parts of the prevention of FGM and support to affected communities. Topics may be proposed by the members.
The CoP also provides opportunities for members to meet “IRL” (in real life) during workshops and conferences, such as the conference held in Paris on November 27th 2018 on the theme “Mainstreaming efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation” and the workshop on “Synergies between the NGO and Academic sectors” held at the G3 Conference in Brussels in 2019.
La Communauté de pratiques sur les MGF mène essentiellement ses actions en ligne grâce à une liste email (Google group) qui permet aux membres d’échanger. Les membres sont libres de partager spontanément des informations, des rapports, des mises à jour sur des projets ou des demandes d’information avec les autres membres de la liste.
Afin de favoriser l’échange d’expertise et d’expérience autour de sujets spécifiques liées aux MGF, des discussions thématiques sont organisées régulièrement sur des thèmes précis. Ces discussions ont pour but de renforcer la connaissance sur les MGF et d’améliorer le travail de prévention, de prise en charge pluridisciplinaire et de plaidoyer. Des sujets peuvent être proposés par les membres.
La CoP offre également aux membres la possibilité de se rencontrer en personne, lors d’ateliers et de conférences, tels que la conférence tenue à Paris le 27 novembre 2018 sur le thème “Intégration systématique des MGF” et l’atelier sur les “Synergies entre les ONG et le secteur académique”, tenu lors de la conférence du G3 à Bruxelles en 2019.