what challenges needs to be overcome ?
The experience of gender mainstreaming, i.e. the integration of gender inequalities and norms into wider programs and projects led by governmental, regional and supranational bodies, can enable us to learn from obstacles and errors, in order to better prepare the « mainstreaming » of FGM. Thus, the « gender mainstreaming » experience shows us that projects dedicated solely to the theme of gender were forgotten in a few years, while projects in which gender was mainstreamed have continued to evolve and grow.
Nevertheless, several difficulties are to be overcome:
- The risk of losing specific funds to fight FGM if diluted in broader programs where FGM would no longer be a priority;
- The risk of losing specific data and statistics on FGM;
- The need for human resources dedicated to this theme may no longer be acknowledged;
- Lack of accountability: if everyone is responsible for the issue of FGM, no one is really responsible for it… ;
- Who would then define the priorities in the fight against female genital mutilation?
- Insufficient budgets remain a major concern.
Recommendations for the « mainstreaming of fgm » ?
1) Integrate FGM into broader programs and sectors, while maintaining specialized projects on the issue.
2) Ensure systematic and institutionalized training of professionals, by including FGM in university curricula.
3) Strengthen research on FGM and ensure the collection of specific data.
4) Guarantee specific and sufficient budget lines. Consider new funding opportunities while remaining committed to governments. Request more transparent data on government spending and actual budgets for FGM.
4) Keep governments, institutions and development cooperation accountable, including when it comes to budgets.
5) Deconstruct gender roles and stereotypes in the work on FGM.
6) Strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects aimed at the abandonment of FGM.
7) Systematically involve the communities concerned in projects, including the younger generations. To do this, affordable funding is needed (small sums and flexibility).
This recommendations of the conference were also presented to the FGM Donor Working Group.