Partnership with SIHA (2005-2008)
Between 2005 and 2008, FORWARD worked in partnership with the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) to raise awareness about FGM.
In Sudan, now separated into Sudan and South Sudan, where FGM is often seen as a religious obligation, 9 out of 10 girls have undergone the practice. Often seen as a symbol of decency, dignity and fertility, FGM is closely linked to a girl’s prospects of marriage. Over one third of girls are married before the age of 18. The type of cutting prevalent in Sudan means that girls are repeatedly cut throughout their lives; first while undergoing FGM and again to allow them to give birth. The average Sudanese woman has four children.
FORWARD and SIHA used Moolaadé, an award-winning film about FGM and other forms of gender-based violence, as part of workshops for employees of civil society organisations across the country. A facilitation guide translated into Arabic ensured the programme achieved a wide impact and increased awareness of public health issues and the rights of women. SIHA continues to run various projects in the country, promoting women’s activism and economic rights, carrying out research and providing support to internally displaced people.