CAGeM

Campaign Against Genital Mutilation
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Educational Workshops 

 
Our empowering educational worshops helps people to examine their own beliefs and values related to the practice in a dynamic and open way, that is not experienced or seen as threatening. Educational sessions will be empowering if they serve not only to impart new knowledge but also to provide a forum for participants to exchange experiences, and help
them reveal and share complex inner feelings and examine conflicting attitudes towards female genital mutilation in the community.
 
Empowering education is done through various forms of training, including literacy training, analytical skills and problem-solving as well as through the provision of information on human rights, religion, general health and sexual and reproductive health. Classes and workshops include the use of traditional means of communication such as theatre, poetry, story telling, music and dance, as well as more modern methods, such as computer-based applications and mobile phone messages.

Educational activities are sensitive to local cultural and religious concerns or run the risk that the information provided will be regarded as morally offensive and result in negative reactions in communities. Information provided is based on evidence, but at the same time build on local perceptions and knowledge. Community based educational activities build on and expand the work with the mass media such as drama, video and local radio. "Champions" against female genital mutilation, such as public personalities, are used to relay information and messages about female genital mutilation. 
 
As female genital mutilation is a manifestation of gender inequality, a special focus on women’s empowerment is important (see below).  However, educational activities reach all groups in the community with the same basic information to avoid misunderstandings and to inspire inter-group dialogue. The format is
adapted so as to suit the realities of each specific group. It is also important to include young people - both girls and boys - as they are often more open to change, and can themselves be important change agents.

To have CAGeM present an Educational Worshop at your institution/organization, contact us.
Empowerment of Women
 

 
As female genital mutilation is a manifestation of gender inequality, the empowerment of women is of key importance to the elimination of the practice. Addressing this through education and debate brings to the fore the human rights of girls and women and the differential treatment of boys and girls with regard to their roles in society in general, and specifically with respect to female genital mutilation. This can serve to influence gender relations and thus accelerate progress in abandonment of the practice. 
 
Programmes which foster women’s economic empowerment are likely to contribute to progress as they can provide incentives to change the patterns of traditional behaviour to which a woman is bound as a dependent member of the household, or where women are loosing traditional access to economic gain and its associated power. Gainful employment empowers women in various spheres of their lives, influencing sexual and reproductive health choices, education and healthy behaviour.
Schools
 
Schools can offer a forum for learning and
discussion about female genital mutilation if they can create an environment of confidence, trust and openness. Artists and others who provide positive role models are brought into schools, and materials are developed for teachers and integrated into school curricula and teacher training on subjects such as science, biology and hygiene as well as those in which religious, gender and other social issues are addressed.
 
Nevertheless, schools may not always be the ideal setting for learning about sensitive and intimate issues and, as many girls and boys are not enrolled in school, other outreach activities for young people are needed. As it is advisable to reach all groups of the community with the same basic information, all forms and spaces of learning, including intergenerational dialogue are explored when designing initiatives to address female genital mutilation.