About Us

Who We Are

The Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development - FORWARD - is an African Diaspora women's campaign and support charity (registered in the UK).

We exist to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights as central to the wellbeing of African women and girls. We work with individuals, communities and organisations to transform harmful practices and improve the quality of life of vulnerable girls and women.

FORWARD was established in 1983 in the UK, in response to the emerging problems caused by female genital mutilation being seen by health professionals. Since this time FORWARD has been working to eliminate the practice and provide support to women affected by FGM. At our twenty year review FORWARD formally incorporated into its mandate other issues allied to Female Genital Mutilation, in particular vesico-vagina and recto-vagina fistulae and child and forced marriage.

Our Vision

We have a vision where women and girls live in dignity, are healthy, have choices and equal opportunities.

Our Mission

FORWARD was founded to safeguard dignity, advance health and human rights for African girls and women globally.

  • We educate and engage policy makers, communities and the public to facilitate social change and protection of rights
  • We advocate for enabling policies and resource
  • We support programmes and services to tackle gender based violence in particular female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage
  • We inform and share learning and good practice
  • We empower and mobilize vulnerable girls and women to raise their voices and exercise their rights

Our Core Values

FORWARD believes that:

  • Protection of women and girls' rights and dignity are non-negotiable
  • People's voices, needs and experiences should inform all our work
  • Participation of girls, boys, women, men and community leaders promotes equity and ownership
  • Provision of safe spaces and specialist services for girls and women should be central to programmes
  • Partnerships and alliance building with civil society and community organisation, donor agencies and governments creates synergy and accelerates change

Our Goals

  • END gender based violence in particular female genital mutilation, child marriage and related rights violations
  • INCREASE access to specialist and support services; rigths education and livelihood opportunities for vulnerable girls and women
  • IMPROVE capacity and sustainability of partners
  • STRENGTHEN networking and policy engagement of African Diaspora women

Click here to learn more about our work in both the UK and in Africa to advance the rights of African girls and women.

Click here to read some of the Press Coverage that FORWARD has received.

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