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The FGM-Free Village Model

The FGM Free Village Model (NCCM/Project) represents Egypt’s national initiative towards the elimination of the practice of FGM, launched in 2003. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM); the highest government body entrusted on child rights issues has placed FGM as a national priority.

Goal

The project aims to reverse attitudes of families towards FGM by enhancing their knowledge on the detriments of the practice thus enabling them to abandon the practice. This shift of public opinions attitude towards FGM will enhance the creation of a social environment conductive to change thus reducing all forms of social pressure inflicted on families with girls at risk.

Geographical Scope

Objectives

The project operates at both national and local levels. At national level the NCCM/Project focuses on:

Approach

The NCCM/Project adopts an innovative multi-pronged approach that has proven to be effective in addressing the complex and sensitive issue of FGM. The approach seeks to create an enabling environment for the abandonment of the practice by engaging community at large: civil society, media, community and religious leaders, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, youth groups, and professionals including medical doctors, journalists, lawyers and judges. The Model builds on earlier experiences to eradicate FGM in Egypt, primarily those of the Egyptian Task Force against FGM, and taps into the knowledge, skills, and lessons learned from these earlier efforts. It represents a unique partnership between government agencies, civil society, and international organizations.

Achievements

The NCCM has established the core infrastructure that triggered the society's attention and concern towards FGM and its detriments from a comprehensive perspective (medical, social, religious and legal). The NCCM has raised the consciousness of policy makers, media personnel, religious leaders, judges, lawyers, doctors and youth thus in summer 2007 the death of a 13 years old girl in Minya governorate instigated the public opinion's anger toward those who were supporting the practice, thus the public pressure supported Minister of Health and Population to launch an amended anti- FGM ministerial decree No. 271 for the year 2007 that closes the door completely on practitioners. The positive anti-FGM momentum has supported the Grand Mufti to denounce FGM through an official Fatwa. FGM is considered a clear violation of God's commandments that support preserving human body and soul. The Fatwa was not a coincidental achievement, yet it came as a result of long dialogue among religious scholars and recommendations of the November 2006 International Anti-FGM conference held by Dar El Ifta and Al-Azhar. Simultaneously, NCCM worked on drafting amendments to Egypt’s child law (Law number 12 for the year 1996) which included an article that criminalizes and penalizes FGM practitioners and other involved parties. In June 2008 the Egyptian parliament passed the article that criminalizes practitioners of FGM. Furthermore the article is added to the criminal code (Article 242 BIS of the Penal Code).

Key Breakthroughs in Egypt’s Anti-FGM Model

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