A Comprehensive Approach for Communication about Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt
This paper describes the development of the model, that is currently used by the Task Force to interact with the grass root audience about the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM). The FGM Task Force is constantly attempting to improve and modify its educational model to best serve its main objective: the eradication of female genital mutilation in Egypt. The Task Force takes into consideration that legislation alone is insufficient without changing people’s attitudes towards women. It also realises that the implementation of a purely medical argument alone is not sufficient to change a prevalent social behaviour such as female genital mutilation. The paper describes the development of an approach that aims to change the current attitude of people towards the bodily integrity of their female children. Instead of viewing girls as potential moral danger, the comprehensive approach advocates a new perspective of them as humans with a full right to enjoy bodily integrity and to be free from pain and humiliation.
The description “comprehensive” is suggested because this approach considers the cultural, social, political, and legal aspects at equal footing with the health implications of female genital mutilation. The paper starts by a historical background of the anti-female genital mutilation efforts in Egypt since the 1920s. Then, the history of the Task Force itself is briefly described. Then the paper reports the two major categories of actions, that are currently present on the Egyptian arena: the legal and legislative debate about female genital mutilation, and the socio-educational efforts of the FGM Task Force.
Last but not least, the paper describes the developmental steps that led to the emergence of the currently implemented comprehensive approach to discuss the issue of female genital mutilation, including the rationale for the move from one model to another.
KeywordsMedical Doctor Sexual Desire Comprehensive Approach Male Circumcision Female Genital Mutilation
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