Covid & FGM
Tools and resources developed and shared by the members
During COVID-19 the members of the CoP have kept busy and have adapted
their work, developed tools and published papers and articles related to FGM, women
and girls’ rights or SRHR in times of COVID-19. In this section you will find some resources developed by and/or shared by members.
- Paul Okoth, “Local Actions and Solutions to Climate Change”, Kenya Free Press. Access here
- Paul Okoth, “To tackle hunger menace, Africa must first address corruption”, Kenya Free Press. Access here
- Paul Okoth, “Failed Education System”, Kenya Free Press. Access here
- Menstrual Hygiene Management”
- Paul Okoth, “Debunking Myths And Stigma Associated With Menstruation In Kenya”, Youth Ki Awaaz. Access here
- Paul Okoth, “Period Talk In Kenya: What Can The Men Do?”, Youth Ki Awaaz. Access here
- Paul Okoth, “Why 80% Menstruators Feel A Negative Emotion During Their First Period”, Youth Ki Awaaz. Access here
Sini Sanuman, in Mali, developed posters to sensitise on FGM and prevent their practice.
Everlyne Komba: “The Dilemma: Female Genital Mutilation in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic”, for the End-FGM EU Network, April 2nd, 2020 (Available here)
Everlyne Komba, Gender, Governance and Development Expert, Nairobi, Kenya has given further details on the situation in Kenya after having written this piece.
- Is there evidence from the ground / grass-root organizations that cutting seasons have started again because of the pandemic? Have you received other messages from women/girls after you wrote the piece? Do you have a message on child marriage.
Evidence from the different communities indicates that girls are normally cut when schools are not in session and right now COVID has led to the forced closure of schools and to an increased demand on personal resources. The easiest way to get those resources for poor households within FGM communities is by cutting and marrying off their daughters. Marriage in these communities involves exchanging girls for resources. Part of the problem is that governments are so fixated on fighting COVID with particular emphasis on social distancing, hand sanitizing and the wearing of masks that these other issues such as child protection have been relegated down the list.
I am a board member of the Pastoralist Child Foundation and we have received a number of distress calls requesting food aid because the only source of livelihood which includes selling of goats/livestock has been affected due to closure of markets in the effort to try and curb the spread of COVID 19. This prompted the two directors of our organization to set up a Go Fund Me page and we have been able to get some support. We have reached six out of ten villages with our food distribution efforts. As we distribute food within households the women are coming out to say that this strategy will help save girls from undergoing FGM.
- In cases of FGM, a survivor has no choice to refuse or pursue other options without severe social, physical, or cultural consequences – Can you explain why it is harder for girls to refuse FGM during the pandemic?
The support system that is meant to look out for the girls is currently non existent so if they refuse where can they run to in the wake of strict social distancing rules, curfews and lockdowns?
Additionally courts are not in session which is affecting issues of response, the entire criminal justice system needs to be active/in session to create some level of deterrence
“Stand with Adolescent Girls and Young Women during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Joint Statement and Recommendations.” By the Child, Early & Forced Marriage & Unions and Sexuality Working Group, and Partners, June 2020. Access here
The statement contains 12 recommendations for moving past the status quo and dismantling the structural inequalities adolescent girls and young women have faced prior to and during the pandemic, as well as supporting community-led approaches to gender justice. “This means taking a human rights-based, gender-responsive approach during the crisis, and funding and supporting gender-transformative approaches over the long term.”
On the same topic
Covid & FGM Press overview In this section we have gathered some of the newspaper articles and reports shared within the CoP FGM during the months of April-June 2020. For a more extensive overview see the UNICEF Annotated Bibliography on “Harmful Practices...
Covid & FGM Resources shared, tools and reports produced by UNFPA and UNICEF COVID-19 disrupting SDG 5.3: Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation. Technical Note April 2020 In this guide for action, UNICEF presents some key points and ways to continue the...
Covid & FGM Webinars and podcasts have been released addressing the topic of FGM. The following Webinars and Podcasts were organized or shared by members during the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘Impact of COVID-19 on ending FGM in Tanzania’ by ‘Hope for Girls and...
Covid & FGM What can we learn from the Ebola pandemic? When the COVID-19 pandemic started many people remembered the Ebola pandemic and wondered what – if anything – we could learn from the impact that Ebola had on FGM. The case of Sierra Leone Based on...