Bringing an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage requires a broad-based, long-term commitment. Experience has shown that there are no quick or easy solutions. Widespread and permanent renouncement of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage comes about through a process of positive social change.

Interventions and programs must therefore:

Address Root Causes

Enforcing laws banning FGM and early marriage reduces the incidence of these harmful practices, but also drives them underground. The root causes of these practices must simultaneously be addressed, reducing their relevance, necessity and desirability.

Be Broad-Based

Solutions must address topics such as girls’ education, women’s economic empowerment, laws protecting women’s and girls’ rights, and women’s health. Most successful programs have been built on human rights and women’s economic empowerment.

Be Long-Term, but with Immediate Impact

Solutions should focus on shifting the social norms that sustain the practice of FGM and early marriage, and establishing new social norms that are collectively and explicitly accepted. But they must also deliver immediate improvement and impact, so as to build momentum for longer-term sustainable change.

Be Community-Driven

Solutions led by the community are more likely to be effective and have lasting social impact. Social norms change definitively when a community sees the benefit of changing, and not when they are punished for not doing so.

Programs need to engage all groups of a community in discussion and debate, focus on empowering women and educating girls, and encourage public commitment to renouncing female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. Achieving this generates the necessary consensus and coordination to bring about permanent positive social change.

 

Become a part of something bigger!

Help give Maasai girls the opportunity and freedom to gain an education and the skills to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

100% of every dollar generated online goes directly into our programs to help rescue Maasai girls from female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage.