Empowering women, girls and communities to end FGM in Africa

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is experienced by approximately 200 million girls and women alive today.

This harmful practice is a human rights violation, a form of gender-based violence, and is extremely damaging to physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Women, girls and their allies are leading a growing movement for change across affected countries in Africa, Asia and beyond (including diaspora communities in Europe and north America). The ‘Support to the Africa Led Movement to End FGM/C’ programme (ALM), funded by UK Aid, contributes to these global efforts.

The programme aims to contribute to a significant reduction in the practice of FGM/C in up to six focus countries in Africa by 2025, starting in Kenya. It will do this by accelerating positive changes in social attitudes towards ending FGM/C in the countries/regions where we work. The programme approach is to support and strengthen efforts to end FGM/C that are led from within affected communities and countries.
We are working at multiple levels to achieve this – from individuals through to national systems and global platforms:

  1. Targeted interventions within communities to support individual and social change, realising the programme’s girl-centred and community-led principles, and activating and supporting networks of change agents, including girls, women, teachers and health professionals.
  2. A small-grants mechanism which resources and builds the capacity of grassroots women’s and girls’ rights and youth-led organisations and activists to implement, sustain and scale ‘end FGM/C’ initiatives.
  3. Integrating ‘end FGM/C’ interventions into existing development programmes with an initial focus on integrating FGM/C-related training into health professionals’ pre-service training.
  4. Strategic media and campaigns to strengthen and amplify the movement to end FGM/C, and to respond to emerging global, regional and national challenges and opportunities.
  5. Global advocacy to strengthen the ‘end FGM/C’ movement and secure additional commitments and resources.
  6. Generating evidence and learning, with an initial focus on generating ‘Proof of Concept’ for the programme approach. Strong learning and results will allow the programme to be scaled up in future, and will contribute to the global evidence base on ending FGM/C.

The programme is implemented by a consortium led by Options and including Amref Health Africa, ActionAid, Orchid Project, Africa Coordination Centre for Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and University of Portsmouth. The programme team is based in, and is currently focusing on, Kenya - with complementary activities at regional and global level. The programme started in September 2020 and will run until September 2025.

Our experts

  • Joanne Hemmings, PhD
    Joanne provides technical expertise across sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender, research and evaluation, social and behaviour change, and business and strategy development. She’s currently supporting programming to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and to support girls’ choices to reduce unsafe abortion.
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