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Preventing Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a widespread tradition in Egypt practiced by both Muslims and Christians. In Egypt, the custom in general means a partial cutting of the female outer genitals and is practiced on girls aged 8-13. 
Girls risk health complications in connection with or following the circumcision such as severe pain, wound- and urinary inflammation, heavy bleeding, psychological scars such as fear and depression, sexual frigidity and problems and pains during intercourse.The main reasons families say they choose to carry out FGM are hygiene and purity, tradition and to protect honor.
Since 2004, BLACD has been working to prevent the physical violation of girls in eight target villages with support from Diakonia.
Through reversing existing community peer pressure, communities can emancipate themselves and their girls from the practice of Female Genital Mutilation and in doing so the project supports women and girls to have an active role in developing themselves and their communities.
BLACD identified 1500 “girls at risk” in the villages, and has been working to prevent them from being subjected to FGM. As a result of these efforts, 1363 of 1500 girls at risk were saved from Female Genital Mutilation between 2004-2007.  



A girl holds a cardboard sign “No No to circumcision”

Working with Local Volunteers 

BLACD trained more than 30 volunteers from the target villages on how to mobilize their communities, raise families’ awareness on the physical and mental harms of FGM and to encourage them to reject the practice. Each volunteer is responsible for protecting 50 girls at risk. Volunteers make regular home visits to the families of girls at risk and hold small awareness raising meetings in the communities.

Working with Community Leaders

BLACD provides training to decision makers and community leaders, including Government officials, physicians, medical workers, religious leaders, Arabic language teachers, headmasters and media practitioners, to strengthen their capacities to advocate against the practice.

Changing the Careers of Midwives

Training on the consequences of FGM is also provided to midwives and health barbers who earn a living from carrying out FGM. BLACD supports them in finding alternative ways of gaining an income. Midwives who prove serious in stopping the habit have been given the opportunity to apply for a small loan to start a micro enterprise to gain an alternative income.

Empowering Girls at Risk

BLACD project staff and volunteers carry out activities to empower girls between 8-13 years old at risk of FGM to have a positive and effective role in refusing the practice.  This is done through awareness raising classes and trough engaging girls in expressing their feelings and thoughts about FGM in drawings, poetry, acting and reading.



A girl painting a picture expressing her thoughts about circumcision


Breaking the Silence

In a further attempt to raise awareness about the harms of FGM and breaking the silence on this subject, BLACD developed and disseminated 9000 copies of 3 posters on FGM, prepared a magazine and documentary film about FGM and designed special school bags with the “stop FGM” slogan printed on them. Three awareness raising marches were arranged in two of the target villages in which community leaders, teachers, midwives and girls at risk participated to express their objection to FGM.

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