The following article was translated from Seneweb News. Read the original article in French.

Senegal can achieve abandonment of female genital cutting by 2015 Seneweb News – August 19, 2013

The Director of the Department of Family of the Ministry of Women, Children and Women’s Entrepreneurship, Senegal (MFEEF), Madame  Coumba Thiam Ngom, announced Monday in Dakar that it is possible to achieve total abandonment of FGC in Senegal by 2015, the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Speaking to the press at the opening of a three-day workshop for NGOs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to reinforce the human rights approach of the National Action Plan for the Abandonment of Female Genital Cutting, Madame Ngom said that “Senegal is lucky to have an early start in the fight for the abandonment of this practice.”

She based her optimism on the results of the recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS-2010), indicating a decrease from 28 to 26% of the national prevalence rate of FGM in Senegal.

However, she recognized the disparities between regions of the country with regard to this practice, noting that these will quickly disappear through dialogue, advocacy and the human rights approach.

“There is also an entire program to work with migrant communities which are still resistant,” she said.

Chairing the opening of the seminar, the Minister of Women, Children and Women’s Entrepreneurship (MFEEF), Madame Mariama Sarr, noted that “the abandonment of Female Genital Cutting is an important part of government social policy.”

She believes that it is important to involve all grassroots actors in the abandonment of the practice, and not rely solely on application of the law.  She indicated that FGC is a real public health concern in Senegal to which 1% of the health budget is allocated.

It is estimated that 100 to 140 million women and girls have undergone FGC throughout the world.

Each year, two million new girls are at risk of undergoing FGC. Africa is the continent most at risk where 92 million women or girls are cut.