New Resources from the Evidence to End FGM/C Project

7 February, 2019

New Resources from the Evidence to End FGM/C Project

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February 6th, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, brings attention on a global level to the need to support efforts towards the abandonment of FGM/C. The Evidence to End FGM/C project is contributing to the campaign to end this harmful practice by conducting research across Africa that will expand the use of evidence to inform our understanding and actions by:

Building the evidence base of where, when, and why FGM/C is practiced

Assessing a range of interventions to address FGM/C abandonment

Understanding the wider impacts of FGM/C on the lives of girls, women, and their families.

Improving research into FGM/C by conducting high-quality, rigorous studies.

Our research consortium has developed resources that can inform evidence-based programmes and policies to achieve change. We remain committed to achieving these objectives and are today sharing recently published resources to improve our understanding of FGM/C within Kenya and Sudan.

TRACING CHANGE IN FGM/C: SHIFTING NORMS AND PRACTICES AMONG COMMUNITIES IN NAROK AND KISII COUNTIES, KENYA

Although the national prevalence of FGM/C has steadily declined in Kenya, its prevalence remains high in some ethnic groups such as the Somali, Kisii, Maasai, and Kuria. In response, there have been efforts, at the policy and programme levels, aimed at ending FGM/C in Kenya. The combined effects of such efforts have, however, yielded mixed outcomes. Given the sustained interest in implementing interventions, understanding how they work and their effectiveness in aiding abandonment of FGM/C is critical. A recent study addressed these issues by examining whether there are shifts in norms and practices related to FGM/C among communities in Narok and Kisii counties.

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SHIFTS IN FGM/C IN KENYA: PERSPECTIVES OF FAMILIES AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

Studies have shown three key shifts in the practice of FGM/C in Kenya: cutting at a younger age, less severe cutting, and medicalised cutting (cutting performed by a health care provider either in a health facility or at home). Whether these shifts signify abandonment or persistence of the practice is poorly understood. In an effort to ensure the success of future abandonment strategies, this research sought to understand the shifts in FGM/C among families and health care providers from selected Kenyan communities that practise FGM/C.

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MEDICALISATION OF FGM/C IN SUDAN: SHIFTS IN TYPES AND PROVIDERS

Although Sudan has experienced five decades of anti-FGM/C campaigns, it still has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. This said, the country has seen changes in the practice of FGM/C: a shift from type III (infibulation) to non-infibulating types and an increase in the medicalisation of the practice. The magnitude of, and reasons for, these changes are not fully understood. This study aimed to inform the development of future interventions by generating evidence on the drivers of the shifts in the practice of FGM/C in Sudan by examining shifts in the type of cut, its level and significance, as well as the supply and demand factors associated with medicalisation.

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FGM/C DECISION-MAKING PROCESS AND THE ROLE OF GENDER POWER RELATIONS IN SUDAN

Decades of sustained efforts to end FGM/C in Sudan have yielded limited impact on the prevalence of the practice and the reasons behind the slow pace of change are not well understood. This study aimed to contribute to a better understanding of FGM/C in Sudan and the way different families perceive the practice and make FGM/C-related decisions. Drawing on both social norms and social network theories, researchers investigated whether FGM/C is an individual-based decision or a relational decision that involves multiple decision makers who are influenced by others within and beyond the households in which the girls live.

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UNDERSTANDING THE KEY ELEMENTS FOR DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS TO INFORM THE DEVELOPMENT OF CREATIVE APPROACHES FOR FGM/C ABANDONMENT IN SUDAN

As a socially sanctioned practice, FGM/C is underpinned by social norms. Therefore, those engaged in programmes and activities towards the abandonment of FGM/C have encouraged the application of social marketing (SM) concepts as an innovative approach towards changing norms that perpetuate the practice. While social marketing campaigns (SMCs) have gained prominence in abandonment efforts, there is a lack of information on how these programmes are designed and implemented, and their perceived impact. Understanding the implementation process and the effectiveness of SMCs is critical for drawing lessons to improve existing programmes and inform the design and scale up of SMCs in other regions/countries. This mixed method study sought to address this evidence gap by assessing the design and implementation of existing SMC programmes in Sudan.

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Population Council/Evidence to End FGM/C

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The Evidence to End FGM/C programme consortium generates evidence to inform and influence investments, policies, and programs for ending female genital mutilation/cutting in different contexts. Evidence to End FGM/C is led by the Population Council in partnership with the Africa Coordinating Centre for the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, Kenya (ACCAF); Global Research and Advocacy Group, Senegal (GRAG); MannionDaniels, Ltd. (MD); Population Reference Bureau (PRB); University of California, San Diego (Prof. Bettina Shell-Duncan); and University of Washington (Dr. Gerry Mackie). Evidence to End FGM/C is funded by UK aid by the UK Government.

Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive · 4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW · Suite 280 · Washington, Dc 20008 · USA

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