In 1998, the International Centre for Reproductive Health carried out a study on FGM in Europe with funds from the European Commission’s DAPHNE Project. One of the recommendations from the study was the need to develop a European network for the prevention of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Europe. This network was formed in 1999 and FORWARD has become a member alongside groups from 10 European countries.
We have participated in several meetings, which have been divided into different units including; Health Care Sector, NGOs and CBOs (Community Based Organisations), and the Academic Level. Each of these units have specific objectives: the health care sector aims to develop a framework for training health care professionals and management of women who have undergone FGM.
The NGOs and CBOs unit aims to exchange information and models of good practice at community level, while the academic unit aims to set up a research agenda on FGM. The outcome of the above objectives will provide working guidelines, which can be adopted in specific countries for the campaign against FGM.
FORWARD has been very fortunate to be part of this network. It has given us an opportunity to share our experiences and we feel that the network has empowered us and given us more strength to carry on. We are very excited to be part of this network since it is a huge step towards eradicating FGM in Europe.