Dakar Contact: Gannon Gillespie
US Contact: Luzon Pahl
Telephone: +1 202 656 1143

Tostan Celebrates International Day for the Abandonment of Female Genital Cutting (FGC)

Tostan celebrates a positive social movement towards change.   To date, 5,221 communities in Sengal, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, and Somalia have declared their abandonment of FGC. Alongside these efforts, the Senegalese government is working towards the goal of complete abandonment of FGC in Senegal by 2015.      
DAKAR, Senegal – On February 6, 2011, Tostan celebrates the international day of female genital cutting (FGC) abandonment.   On this occasion, Tostan honors the achievements of the thousands of communities with which it has worked and that have decided to end the practice.  
Through the Community Empowerment Program (CEP), participating communities learn about the human right to health and the harm FGC causes. Unlike other organizations that address this issue, however, Tostan believes that any decision to end the practice must come from the communities themselves.  
Tostan, an NGO that has worked in Senegal since 1991, believes that this community-led approach is integral to complete and sustained abandonment. Since the first public declaration in 1997 by the village of Malicounda Bambara, over five thousand communities in six African countries have publically declared their abandonment of FGC.  
The movement for FGC abandonment is rapidly spreading. In just the past two months, 91 villages in Senegal and 20 villages in The Gambia have declared their abandonment. In recognition of the success of the Tostan model, the Senegalese Government has officially adopted key components of the Tostan strategy, which have been incorporated into The National Action Plan for FGC Abandonment 2010-2015 .