According to the World Health Organization, FGM refers to: ‘procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons’. It is sometimes called Female Genital Cutting or female circumcision. Traditional names include bondo, sande, sunna.
FGM is practised in about 28 African countries, the Middle East and South East Asia. The African countries with the highest prevalence rates of over 90% are Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about two million women and girls are cut every year around the world. According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), about 86,000 women and girls are affected by FGM each year in the UK. Hawa Trust is campaigning for the total elimination of FGM in the UK and Africa.
Hawatrust work with FGM/C affected communities by raising awareness of the dangers and legal repercussions of FGM/C and associated physical, emotional and psychological effect. We are focusing in civil society on the health risks of FGM/C, with more efforts to raise awareness of the practice in terms of maternal health HIV/AIDS, and obstetric fistuh.
We train and support professionals engaging with affected communities – by raising awareness of the issues and by building their confidence to support at risk communities in ways respectful of local cultures. We advocate and campaign for change at policy-level in the UK, EU and Africa.
Our strategy is that in the long run, girls will be fully knowledgeable on the effects of FGM/C to HIV and may be able to resist pressure to become a member of a Bondo Society.