Gender Transformative Approaches for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation

Authored by: United Nations Children's Fund

Categories: Global Public Health, Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Economic Participation, Human Development, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Region: No Region
Year: 2020
Citation: "Gender Transformative Approaches for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation." United Nations Children's Fund. November 2020.

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Executive Summary

At least 200 million girls and women worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), and more than four million girls are at risk annually. Recognized internationally as a violation of girls’ and women’s human rights, FGM has multiple negative consequences in the lives of girls and women, including medical, psychological, emotional and social problems, and even loss of life. Girls subjected to FGM are also at risk of early/child marriage, dropping out of school, and reduced opportunities for growth, development and sustainable incomes.

Based on recommendations from the Joint Programme and UNICEF’s experience in implementing programmes addressing FGM, this technical note provides an overview of gender transformative approaches to ending FGM including programme strategies, reference tools and resources, and case studies. The case studies in this technical note are drawn from UNICEF’s work on FGM. The technical note also highlights the distinction between social and gender norms. Programmes seeking to shift social norms do not necessarily focus on the individuals upholding norms. Addressing gender norms requires understanding gender as a hierarchical system that disadvantages girls and women as well as non-conforming men and boys.