Prevention of Harmful Traditional Practices, including Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
Transforming Circumcisers and Potential Circumcisers into Health Mobilizers
Our engagement with circumcisers and their assistants in our intervention communities has been through continued social mobilization, advocacy and behavior change activities, resulting in the formation of BAFROW’s Association of Ex-circumcisers. The Association currently has 178 ex-circumcisers from the various administrative districts who have committed themselves to influence circumcisers to stop the practice, as well as advocate for the provision of better services to their communities.
Annual training has equipped ex-circumcisers with essential knowledge and skills for effective community mobilization, awareness creation and counseling on FGM/C and other harmful traditional practices. Some of the issues covered during these training include:
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Environmental health
- HIV prevention
- Women’s and girls’ rights, and
- the linkages between all the above
These women have been provided with interpersonal communication and advocacy skills to enhance their articulacy and pictorial IEC materials to support their activities. With the national ban on the practice in 2015, their focus has since shifted to sensitization on applying the law as a means of dissuading underground practices.
An essential part of their work is promoting alternative rites of passage for girls. As such, 50 converted circumcisers have been trained on the use of BAFROW’s Curriculum for Restructuring the Passage Rites of Girls (ŋansiŋ yaa karaŋo) and have been creating awareness on and advocating for our “initiation without Mutilation” approach. Under their guidance, 150 girls from 6 villages have so far undergone our Alternative Rites of Passage for Girls.