Empowered communities, collective choices

Posted July 16, 2014 Avatar sonnakadie

Avatar sonnakadie View Profile
Member since July 16, 2014
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  • Age 27

Every delivery of The Somali mother has been agonizing: the third ended in miscarriage and subsequent gynaelogical problems, including a fistula. Her doctor says he is kept busy dealing with complications caused by FGM/C. “FGM puts a strain on the health system.” Because FGM/C is a deeply entrenched social norm, the decision to abandon FGM/C requires a process of social change that enables communities to discuss, reflect and reach consensus. Since change cannot be effectively imposed from the outside, the ultimate decision to discontinue the practice rests with the women, men and community leaders who can effect and sustain change. In this way, community members can put into place a new social norm without feeling that their cultural traditions are being violated or that they are coerced or judged. The decision to abandon FGM/C must be collective, widespread and explicit. This gives each family the confidence that others are also abandoning the practice and that no single girl or family will be disadvantaged by the decision. A community dialogue generates a collective social learning and a strengthening of ownership and responsibility for change. Part of the responsibility is to engage neighbouring communities so that abandonment can spread and be sustained, and so the social pressure to perform FGM/C is transformed into pressure to abandon it. When abandonment reaches this point, the new social convention becomes self-enforcing: it continues swiftly and spontaneously.
Reblogged from: http://www.unfpa.org/topics/genderissues/fgm/strategicapproaches

youth human rights somalia FGM/C




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