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Short Title

Successful Approaches to Ending FGC

Abstract

Female genital cutting (FGC) is practiced in 28 African countries; infibulation is practiced in nine African countries. Six unsuccessful approaches to ending FGC are reviewed: cultural absolutism, cultural relativism, health education, feminism, human rights legislation, and psychosocial approaches. Two successful programs that have resulted in communities abandoning FGC, including Tostan in Senegal, are described. Successful programs are community-led, aim to change social norms in the whole community, and empower women. Governments and NGOs should use community-led programs based on participatory methods as recommended interventions in order to promote community-wide abandonment of FGC.

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