The Steering Committee of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Program for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation in Senegal
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The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Joint Program Steering Committee is conducting a field visit to Senegal from 10-14 October 2022. Composed of donor countries and representatives from UNFPA and UNICEF headquarters, the committee will visit the salient initiatives implemented in favor of the elimination of female genital mutilation in Senegal and will discuss the positioning of the program in the global context. In addition, strategies for adapting to new challenges and future commitments will be discussed with government representatives at national, regional and civil society levels and during the annual meeting in Dakar this year.
The Joint Program is in its fourth phase of implementation from 2022-2030 with the vision of a world without FGM, where every woman and girl has a voice, a choice, calling for the elimination of all harmful practices. This global program to eliminate female genital mutilation links the gender roles, social norms and power imbalances that drive FGM. It aims for the emergence of new social norms that are more equitable, more protective of women and girls, and the application of laws prohibiting the practice, access to sexual and reproductive health services for girls and women affected by female genital mutilation.
Launched in May 2008 under the leadership of two United Nations agencies, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Joint Program for Accelerating the Total Elimination of All Forms of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) supports countries' efforts to end FGM by 2030.
The Joint Program provides direct support to 17 countries (Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen) within the framework working in partnership with governments, civil society, development partners and communities.
The third National Strategy for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation 2022-2030 accompanied by a five-year action plan 2022-2026 developed with the support of the Joint Program by the government, communities and civil society, reflects the commitment of the country in favor of the transformation of norms in favor of the abandonment of FGM and a vision of "A Senegal without FGM where all women and girls enjoy their right to physical integrity".
According to estimates, nearly two million girls and women have undergone FGM in Senegal and the indicators call for urgent action, as the prevalence of FGM, a deeply rooted practice within certain communities, generally affects girls at a very young age.
The prevalence has remained virtually unchanged for at least two decades despite ongoing efforts. According to the latest results of the 2019 DHS, an increase in the prevalence rate of excision is observed among girls aged 0-14, the prevalence of excision stands at 16.1% in 2019 against 14% in 2018, among women aged 15-49, the rate, which was 24% in 2017, rose to 25.2% in 2019.
Among those under 15, the figures hide large disparities between the regions very affected such as Kédougou with 90%, Matam with 77%, Kolda 57%, Sédhiou 48%, Ziguinchor 37% and those less affected such as that of Diourbel with many 1%. Girls living in rural areas are more exposed to the practice with 21% of girls aged 0-14 years excised, against 8.2% for those in urban areas.
The prevalence of FGM varies considerably according to ethnicity, with a predominance among the Soninké and Mandingo ethnic groups where two thirds of women and girls have undergone this practice, while FGM is extremely rare among the Serer and Wolof populations.
Senegal will be supported by the joint program in its desire to accelerate social change and promote the abandonment of FGM to:
- Expand opportunities for the empowerment of women and girls;
- Promote supportive family and community environments;
- Support the building and development of a global youth movement based on the leadership of adolescent girls;
- Support the strengthening of governance to end FGM;
- Strengthen the capacity of rights holders and duty bearers;
- Bridging the gap between generating evidence and research to end FGM
Note to Editors
The Joint FGM Program produces its annual report each year, a flagship document that highlights efforts to abandon genital mutilation and harmful practices. This report is popularized by the partners and by the voice of media professionals in order to interest the general public in the challenges and perspectives related to the abandonment of FGM for national development.
More information on UNFPA and UNICEF visit www.unfpa.org & www.unicef.org
Media contacts :
- Jacob Enoh EBEN |Regional Communications Adviser |UNFPA WCARO : firstname.lastname@example.org | +221 77 450 4780
- Aïssata SALL |Communications for Development Officer | UNFPA Sénégal |email@example.com +221 77 750 10 42
- Moussa DIOP | Communication Specialist |UNICEF Sénégal | firstname.lastname@example.org | +221 77 644 33 22
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For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.