What is the mainstreaming of FGM ?


Mainstreaming FGM means addressing FGM in broader programmes such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence, human rights and women’s rights, as well as in different sectors – such as education, asylum, health, research, law enforcement, child protection.

It is widely recognized that the systematic integration of FGM is key to ending the practice and ensuring that all women and girls receive appropriate and adequate care by relevant services. Evidence shows that professionals can play a major role in the protection, prevention and care of girls and women living with or at risk of FGM and that initiatives are generally more successful if they are integrated into broader programmes or existing services.

In Africa, for example, the involvement of health professionals is central to addressing medicalization, while in Europe work in the asylum sector has proven effective in reaching affected women and promoting the abandonment of FGM.

There is also a need to place greater emphasis on the needs of girls and women affected by FGM and to treat the subject as gender-based violence, part of the continuum of violence against women.

According to the Performance Analysis Report of the UNICEF/UNFPA Joint Programme Phase II (UNFPA-UNICEF, 2018) :

“people are more likely to be receptive to messages from respected members of the community such as midwives and teachers than to those shared by strangers. In addition, women and girls who have undergone FGM need rapid access to services – such as health care and psychosocial support services – that are available to address the physical, emotional and psychological consequences of the practice”.

Several other international institutions, such as UN Women and the European Union, also recognize the importance of mainstreaming FGM in different sectors in order to end the practice.

The same applies to civil society. The European network End FGM, for example, has published a document promoting the “building bridges” approach as a strategy to end FGM. One of their main recommendations is to invest in awareness-raising and training of civil servants and professionals from various sectors on issues related to FGM.

On the same topic

Nigeria: Trying to integrate FGM into the media

MAINSTREAMING OF FGM Nigeria: Trying to integrate FGM into the media   Nigeria lacks media engagement on Female Genital Mutilation and journalists have little interest in the subject, resulting in few opportunities for affected girls and women to testify in the...

read more

In Ireland: Integrating FGM into religious discourse

MAINSTREAMING OF FGM In Ireland: Integrating FGM into religious discourse   Religious leaders are highly respected within their communities in Ireland andare therefore able to influence behaviours and the adoption of social norms within these groups. Taking this...

read more

Spain: Integrating FGM into sex education programs

MAINSTREAMING OF FGM Spain: Integrating FGM into sex education programs   UNAF has set up workshops dedicated to migrant women. Over a period of 3 hours, the speakers work on the theme of sexuality according to a holistic approach and promoting a participatory...

read more

Example I : Belgium – Involving general practitioners

MAINSTREAMING OF FGM Example I : Belgium - Involving general practitioners   The work of Dr. Athena Patoulidis on the management of Femal Genital Mutilation by general practitioners (GPs) in Belgium highlighted several obstacles to the investment of practitioners...

read more

How to mainstream FGM ?

MAINSTREAMING OF FGM How to mainstream FGM ?   At the conference on the systematic integration of FGM held in Paris in November 2018 by the CoP-MGF, two panels were devoted to sharing good practices in the mainstreaming of FGM in different sectors. In general,...

read more