By United Nations
This Innocenti Digest examines the social dynamics of girl genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). In groups the place it really is practiced, FGM/C is a crucial a part of ladies and womens cultural gender id. The approach imparts a feeling of delight, of coming of age and a sense of group club. in addition, no longer conforming to the perform stigmatizes and isolates ladies and their households, leading to the lack of their social prestige. The social expectancies surrounding FGM/C characterize a huge main issue to households who may well differently desire to abandon the perform. This Innocenti Digest is a contribution to a transforming into move to finish the perform world wide.
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Additional info for Changing a Harmful Social Convention: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
A number of programmes, working at the community level, are protecting girls from FGM/C. The most successful are participatory in nature and generally guide communities to define the problems and solutions themselves. They harness positive village traditions to encourage people to speak out and engage in discussion. They equip families with knowledge on human rights and responsibilities. They encourage communities who have made the decision to abandon the practice to spread their message to their neighbours.
They also provide an opportunity to those who would nor- Box 10 - Communication for social change11 Delivering messages on the health consequences of FGM/C may raise awareness of the risks associated with the procedure and even change attitudes toward the practice, but it does not necessarily produce behaviour change. The most effective communication initiatives for behaviour change engage community members as active agents who control their own development. Using communication as a means to empower communities involves a series of shifts from traditional communication strategies: • from designing and delivering messages to facilitating and encouraging dialogue, which implies sharing ideas rather than making judgmental statements or labelling practices as “wrong”; • from focusing on individual behaviour to focusing on collective social change; • from focusing on social problems to appreciating cultural richness and facilitating a process of cultural change; • from expert-driven solutions to community-driven solutions, which involves engaging communities in the identification of existing structures and appropriate solutions.
9 However, the longer term impact of the approach in the promotion of behaviour change still needs to be evaluated. 10 These peer educators, which include women and men of different backgrounds and ages, demonstrate a high level of commitment and also have extensive reach within the community. The potential of these individuals to engage their neighbours on the subject of FGM/C is enhanced by their deep understanding of the internal dynamics of their communities and the trust they enjoy among fellow villagers.