RH Reality Check, an online community and publication site dedicated to promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, recently highlighted Tostan’s successful grassroots approach to promoting the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC). The article drew attention to Tostan’s subtle but important use of nonjudgmental language in discussing FGC as a means to respecting a community’s agency to affect social change as well as the role the media can play in supporting such efforts. Read an excerpt from the article below or read the original full article at RH Reality Check’s website here.
Yesterday was International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a UN-sponsored day dedicated to raising awareness of the thousands year-old practice whereby a girl or woman’s genitals are cut. The WHO estimates that about 140 million women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM. It’s considered by many to be harmful to a woman’s health and rights, as consent is rarely involved and the procedure is rarely done in hygienic settings.
The practice is often described in the most cringe-worthy and heart string-pulling ways (think legs tied down, shards of glass cutting at a young girl’s genitals, for example) and has roots that are centuries old and spread round the world. The act is not religiously based – though it’s often (mistakenly) attributed to or equated with Islam – but rather based in historical cultural concepts of women’s worth and value.
Continue reading the full article here.