Communities from Guinea, Senegal and Ivory Coast in Berlin against female genital mutilation (FGM)

On Sunday, 25th of of June, the day of the end of Ramadan, CHANGE agent Tiranke Diallo form Guinea of the Mama Africa Association togehter with Senegalese FGM activist and urban soul and hip hop singer Fatou Diatta „Sister Fa“ raised awareness on FGM. On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, Sister Fa invited the Westafrican community to her house. Sister Fa and Tiranke Diallo seized the opportunity to talk about FGM and the risks for women and girls with their guests to encourage discussions about the topic.

Many guests gladly engaged themselves in the discussion to share their own experiences and think about strategies to overcome FGM. An interesting exchange between the three communities campe up. Whereas in Senegal and Ivory Coast numbers of FGM decrease, it stays constant in Guinea. With a prevalence rate of more than 80% Guinea is one of the countries, in which FGM is widespread. One of the participants told, that the government in Ivory Coast more and more aimes at ending FGM by passing laws against the practice and enforcing them. Parallel to the engagement of the government people more and more stand against FGM, too.

On the other hand it is even more difficult to end the tradition of FGM in Guinea. Extensive education and sensitization on different levels – including village chiefs, teachers, children, women of every age and men – are needed to abolish this deeply rooted tradition. This often provokes a conflict between generations, as mainly older women and men stick to this social norm, whereas younger ones demand a change.

With the CHANGE Plus Project, which is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, TERRE DES FEMMES together with European partner organizations promotes the end of FGM in practicing communities in the EU. Last year our department supervisor Dr. Idah Nabateregga trained key figures as multipliers in Berlin communities. After the multipliers, so called CHANGE Agents, were trained in different aspects regarding FGM, they now implement activities to sensitize their own community.

Moreover the CHANGE Agents raise awareness for the topic with the Social Media campaign „Open your eyes“.

TERRE DES FEMMES is immensely grateful for this unique engagement!

June 2017