The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on FGM

2020 was strongly disrupted and marked by the global pandemic of COVID-19, which has led to changes in our lifestyles, the way we work and has affected our social life. For some, COVID-19 and the associated measures of confinement and social distancing have brought their share of risks to health, safety and even livelihoods. Economic hardships, situations of vulnerability in terms of status, housing, security, and cases of domestic violence became even more difficult to overcome during COVID-19.

In these troubled times, CoP members were invited to share how COVID-19 has affected their work, the practice of FGM in the communities where they work, but also relevant resources, webinars, reports.

The pandemic has prompted us to be more innovative, to find new ways to keep in touch and to work together, at a distance. Social networks, webinars and media have emerged as important platforms for discussion and sharing.

The following articles bring together resources, tools, articles, open letters shared by members, the UNFPA and UNICEF. They highlight some of the emerging issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, how FGM and the work of field organizations were affected during the pandemic and confinement measures.

Aha Foundation, 2019 (update), “Why we hesitate to protect girls from FGM in the United States”, Access here

Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016, “FGM Conference: A Human Rights Perspective”, Access here

Berer M., 2015, “The history and role of the criminal law in anti-FGM campaigns: Is the criminal law what is needed, at least in countries like Great Britain?”, Access here

EIGE, 2018, Estimation of girls at risk of female genital mutilation in the European Union – Belgium, Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus and Malta – Report., Access here

FGM New Zealand, 2020, Access here

Johnsdotter, S., Mestre, R. M. in Mestre, 2015, “Female Genital Mutilation in Europe: An analysis of court cases”, European Commission, Access here

Johnsdotter, S., 2019, “Meaning well while doing harm: compulsory genital examinations in Swedish African girls”, Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, Access here

Nabaneh, S, Muula, S. A, 2019, “Female genital mutilation/cutting in Africa: A complex legal and ethical landscape”, Access here

Orchid Project, 2020, policy briefing: impacts of COVID-19 on female genital cutting (FGC), Access here

Rashid A, Iguchi Y., 2019, Female genital cutting in Malaysia: a mixed methods study. BMJ Open 2019, Access here

UEFGM (United to End FGM), 2020, The role of the justice system in the fight against FGM (ELearning), Access here

28 Too Many, 2018, The Law and FGM: An Overview of 28 African Countries, Access here

28 Too Many, 2018, “Somalia: The law and FGM July 2018”, Access here

“The Community of Practice on Female Genital Mutilation” is part of the “Building Bridges between Africa and Europe to tackle FGM” project, supported by the “UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of FGM”.
The project is coordinated by AIDOS in partnership with GAMS Belgium.

The views expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the UNFPA, UNICEF or any other agency or organization.

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