Supporting the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation in the Context of Migration IOM

Linked on our blogs with Desert Flower Foundation, with International Organization for Migration IOM / OIM, with Promouvoir l’Abandon des Mutilations Génitales Féminines dans le Contexte Migratoire, with Supporting the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation in the Context of Migration IOM, with C’est l’ignorance qui tue – Waris Dirie revient sur son combat contre les mutilations génitales féminines MGF (same in english), with Give someone you never met, a gift they will never forget, and with Clinic to fight taboo of female mutilation.

Published on IOM, not dated.

Today, women account for almost half of the migrant population globally. They migrate for family reunification purposes but also and increasingly in search of labour opportunities. The migration of women and families raises new issues in countries of destination, in particular health issues as migrants bring their personal health history and cultural, social, economic and environmental health beliefs with them when moving. Migration can thus create situations where cultural health practices differ from and sometimes conflict with those of the host community.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a well-recognized example of this phenomenon. Indeed, through migration, the once-remote practice of FGM and its harmful consequences have become a reality in Europe, Northern America, Australia and New Zealand.

What is FGM? … //

… Raising Awareness among Destination Countries’ Governments, Relevant Stakeholders and Supporting Civil Society Action: All relevant actors should join forces to make national policies and legislations work for an effective abandonment of FGM, to develop holistic child protection framework and to secure health care, social and psychological support for women and girls who have already undergone FGM. Legislation by itself is not sufficient to prevent FGM but it can strengthen the ability of agencies to protect children at risk and provide appropriate care. Efforts to end FGM should create bridges between origin and destination countries to exchange best practices.

Building Bridges Across Continents:

Efforts towards the abandonment of FGM in countries of origin may be challenged by the visits or return of diaspora members, as migrants are often unaware of the evolution of the practice in their countries of origin. Because they were not involved in the consensus-building process that led to the abandonment, they may argue that the tradition should be maintained for the sake of the group’s identity. At the same time their significant positive influence on social practices must be acknowledged.

Without losing their own cultural identity and heritage, diaspora members and returnees can challenge traditional power hierarchies between men and women and promote a better recognition of women’s work and women’s rights. (full long text).

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