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 Women in Tanzania’ and ‘Middelburg Human Rights Law Consultancy’ 

The Webinar addresses: 

  1. UNICEF, Technical Note on Covid-19 and harmful practices
  2. Whether we believe COVID-19 will help or hinder our efforts to end FGM 
  3. Lessons learned from Ebola

Recording available here


‘Follow up: Impact of Covid-19 on ending FGM in Kenya’ by ‘Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania’ and ‘Middelburg Human Rights Law Consultancy’ 

Program of the Webinar

  1. New research related to COVID-19, including the UNFPA Technical Note entitled ‘Covid-19 disrupting SDG 5.3’, Annemarie Middelburg
  2. Impact of Covid-19 in safe houses in Tanzania, Rhobi Samwelly 
  3. Situation in Kenya, Agnes Pareyio, director of Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative and the current chair of the Anti-FGM Board
  4. How to reach out to the communities in times of Covid-19? : New ways of advocacy and campaigning, Margaret Oyugi of COVAW
  5. Discussion on the potential risks, opportunities, challenges and solutions related to Covid-19 and our efforts to end FGM

Recording available here


‘Impact of Covid-19 on young women and girls and FGM’ by ‘Middelburg Human Rights Law Consultancy’ and ‘Stories to Action’ 

Two young activists presented how the pandemic has impacted their work

  1. Natalie Robi Tingo, Msichana Empowerment Kuria, Kenya
  2. DR. Mariam Dahir, medical doctor and champion for ‘Health for All’

For more information, details, summaries, references and resources about the webinars organised by Annemarie Middelburg, see her dedicated page

Recording available here


‘Impact of Covid-19 on ending FGM in Asia’ by the ‘Asia Network to End FGM/C’, ‘ARROW’, ‘Orchid Project’ 

Program of the webinar:

  1. Delay of FGM cutting ceremonies
  2. New campaigning and sensitisation tools: the development of new apps 
  3. The potential backlash that Covid-19 might cause in this region

Recording available here


‘Our Issue Too: Voices from Asia’ by the Asia Network to End FGM/C and ARROW


  • Moderator: Ebony Riddell Bamber, Head of Advocacy & Policy, Orchid Project
  • Siva Thanenthiran, Executive Director, ARROW
  • Atashendartini Habsjah, Coordinating Head for Article 12, Cedaw Working Group Initiative, Indonesia
  • Prof. Dato’ Dr. Abdul Rashid Khan, Head, Department of Public Health Medicine, RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus
  • Ermiza Tegal, Lawyer and human rights activist, Sri Lanka
  • Zainab Ibrahim, Independent Researcher / Co-Lead, ‘Life Free From Violence’ Global Outcome for CARE International, Sri Lanka
  • Reyhana Patel, Head of External Relations, Islamic Relief (video message)

Recording available here


End of Programme Webinar Series: Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive, by Population Council

“Improving the Health and Legal Systems’ Response to FGM/C” 


Bettina Shell-Duncan, University of Washington (Moderator)

Jacinta Muteshi- Strachan, Population Council: ‘What We Set Out To Do and What Have We Accomplished’

Samuel Kimani, University of Nairobi, ACCAF: ‘Health Systems Strengthening, Kenya and Nigeria’

Agnes Meroka-Mutua, University of Nairobi, ACCAF: ‘FGM/C and Law in Burkina Faso, Mali and Kenya’

Flavia Mwangovya, Equality Now

Recording available here


“Understanding the What, Where and Why the Practice of FGM/C Continues”, Population Council


Bettina Shell-Duncan, University of Washington Seattle (Moderator)
Nada Wahba, Population Council, Egypt: ‘Social and Gender Norms, Egypt and Sudan’
Dennis Matanda, Population Council, Kenya: ‘Using Data to Inform Programming in Senegal, Nigeria and Kenya’
Stanley Yoder, Medical Anthropologist
Nafissatou J. Diop, UNFPA

  • Intended for practitioners, researchers, donors and implementers, this series marks the end of a five-year programme intended to expand the body of evidence on the most effective and cost-effective approaches to ending FGM/C in different contexts. During the webinars findings from our research in eight African countries on FGM/C are shared and we discuss strategies to help end this harmful practice.
  • The PowerPoint presentations with links to the technical reports can also be accessed here
  • The webinar series was organised in the follow up of the Population Council’s report “Reflections from five years of research on FGM/C” (Available here)

Recording available here


Our issue too: Voices from Asia’ by Orchid Project and ARROW, Asia Network to End FGM/C

Following the launch of the Asia Network to End FGM/C’s consultation report, Orchid Project and ARROW organized an informative and engaging webinar in order to highlight the findings of this report, to hear directly from the grassroots activists across Asia undertaking vital work to end the practice, and to open discussions on religion and medicalisation as drivers of FGM/C across the Asia region. 


Siva Thanenthiran, executive director at ARROW, Malaysia. She drew some preliminary conclusions on the Covid-19’s impacts on FGM/C and organisations’ work.

Atashendartini Habsjah, CEDAW Working Group Initiative, Indonesia. She presented how the treatment of FGM has evolved in Indonesia and shared some key initiatives and points of consideration in the fight against FGM.

Lo Riches, Advocacy & Policy Officer, Orchid Project. She highlighted some key results of the Asia Network Consultation Report.

Dr Abdul Rashid Khan, Department of Public Health Medicine, RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus. delivered some preliminary conclusions from his research on FGM/C in Asia and the challenges to ending the practice on the continent

Ermiza Tegal and Zainab Ibrahim, activists in Sri Lanka. They explained how difficult it is to work on FGM in Sri Lanka as they are hardly recognized as an issue in the country. 

Recording available here


“Behind Covid-19: Lockdown on women’s rights?”, by No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) 

Program of the Webinar:

Leyla Hussein, psychotherapist and founder of the Magool Foundation (UK) highlighted some key implications of the Covid-19 crisis on mental health and FGM.

Isabela Mancini, deputy and president of the Italian NGO Nosotras Onlus addressed the question of migrant women and caregivers in Italia.

Natalia Garcia Caballo, activist in the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucia (Spain), discussed the “invisible”, the women living thanks to informal economy or single mothers in exclusion.

This webinar was part of a broader webcast series “#BeyondCovid-19″. In this particular moment in time, everyone’s eyes are on the COVID-19 emergency – rightfully so. In these challenging times of pandemic, human rights violations are still ongoing and are even intensified especially for the most vulnerable. “#BeyondCovid-19” aimed to address issues linked to human rights and their violations affecting people in their everyday life in order not to forget them even during the pandemic.

Recording available here


Podcast Le Bruit qui Court : Episode 7 : “Ethiopie : Le village égalitaire d’Awra Amba et les Mutilations génitales féminines” (available here)

Le Bruit qui Court is a new feminist and international sorority podcast, giving voice to women of different nationalities who talk about their lives, their struggles, their traditions. In this episode (in French) they chose to address the theme of FGM among other topics related to women and gender equality. 

Shared by Edith Bardel, African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), African Union Commission Headquarters.

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