stands for Female Genital Mutilation, and is defined as all procedures that
involve the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other
injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
are four types of FGM, as classified by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1997
and subdivided in 2008, and they are:
Type I: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or
the prepuce (Clitoridectomy).
of FGM Type I are: FGM Type Ia, removal of the clitoral hood or prepuce only
and FGM Type Ib, removal of the clitoris with the prepuce.
Type II: partial or total removal of the clitoris and
the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision).
of FGM Type II are: IIa, removal of the
labia minora only; IIb, partial or total removal of the clitoris and labia
minora; and IIc, partial or total removal of the clitoris, labia minora and
Type III: narrowing of the vaginal orifice with
creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora
and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris
of FGM Type III are: FGM Type IIIa, removal and apposition of the labia minora;
and FGM Type IIIb, removal and apposition of the labia majora.
is covered under this definition. This is a procedure to recreate an
infibulation, for example after childbirth when defibulation is necessary.
Type IV: unclassified – All other harmful procedures to
the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, pulling,
piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.
For better understanding on FGM or materials on
FGM, I strongly recommend that you visithttp://www.who.int and www.endcuttinggirls.org
or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0-dYD9cYKo&t=80s
In 1997 the people of Malicounda Bambara Village
in Senegal became the first village to organise a Public Declaration of
Abandonment of FGM (PDA of FGM), which has been replicated in other African
Under the UNJP, a PDA of FGM is defined as
“collective and formal public ceremony involving one or many communities typically
villages but more and more districts and ethnic groups-who participate in an
event where manifest, through their representatives, their specific commitment
to abandoning FGM”.
The experiences from these communities show that,
after months or years of engagement and consensus building, PDA of FGM
indicates a bottom-up manifestation of change.
When communities publicly denounce FGM, they are
declaring to themselves and other communities, that they have abandoned the
practice, which then helps in paving the way for other communities especially
those with which they regularly inter-marry – to do the same. An evaluation conducted by UNICEF in 2007, in
Senegal, revealed that 77% (about 8 out of 10) of the communities that
publically committed to abandon FGM had indeed abandoned the practice and
maintained their decision 10 years later.
Despite the importance of the PDA of FGM,
experience from the UNJP has shown that “a PDA of FGM does not mean that the
declaring village is free from FGM; rather it represents a milestone in the
process of abandonment because it signals the change in social
Therefore, the UNJP has suggested that, after a
PDA of FGM, there needs to be a process of organized diffusion that ensures the
decision spreads rapidly within the community and is sustained.
This process of social diffusion is typically led
by a critical mass of community members such as trained volunteers (e.g. FGM
Another key lesson learned from the UNJP is the
need to ensure that post-public declaration mechanisms are in place, e.g.
community level Child Protection Committee.
Experience from the UNJP has shown that PDA of
FGM does not guarantee compliance to keep the girls free from FGM.
Thus, the UNJP recommends the strengthening of
post-public declaration mechanisms and establishment of community-level
surveillance and support systems to ensure families and communities follow
through on their commitment to abandon FGM.
Depending on the country context, post-public
declaration initiatives will rely on either community leaders, women’s or youth
groups, or law enforcement actors.
Functional helplines with rapid intervention
groups will be developed within the surveillance system.
It is important to have a training session with
the Surveillance Team to equip them with necessary skills to carry out their
After the training, each Committee member (President
and Secretary) from the various Communities will present the training report to
their Traditional Rulers.
They will inform him that they were asked to
step-down the training to members in all the villages in their community during
their regular meetings
After the step-down, each group will constitute a
CBCPC comprising of two members from each village for effective monitoring and
The CBCPC will educate community members about
the commitments made to end FGM during their Public Declaration using existing
platforms in the community such as religious meetings; kindred meetings; etc..
CBCPC will met and dialogue with groups of men,
women, boys, and girls on monitoring their members to ensure that they do not
engage in FGM.
CBCPC will visit families of their pregnant
member to remind them that the community has abandoned FGM and dissuade from
cutting the child if it is a girl.
The CBCPC will identify opposing individuals and/or
groups, who require further engagement, and continue to dialogue with them
until the new social norm of “not cutting girls” is entrenched in the community.
The CBCPC will document all children born in the
community. If it is a girl, they will follow up with her family to ensure that
she is not cut.
They will document the FGM status of each
girl. This will be validated when the
child is taken for immunization at 6 weeks.
This process will enable the UNJP to calculate the number of girls saved
from FGM, which is an indicator of the FGM situation in the community.
They CBCPC will make referrals to FGM-related
services providers (Health, Social and Legal), and also notify the EndFGM
Helplines. However, all cases must be reported to the Traditional Ruler, before
begin referred to these service providers.
Each village CBCPC will present their reports
from the CBCPC Village Register at the regular (monthly) meetings of their
Association, which will be collated by the Secretary into the CBCPC Community
Register. They will keep records of their activities and minutes of their
Finally, the CBCPC will compile their monthly
reports and it will be submitted to the Traditional Ruler.