elim_fgm

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM. In Africa, about three million girls are at risk for FGM annually. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women. Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths. It is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15 years.  FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. Our Major goal is to eliminate FGM by following the WHO proven and recommended methodologies;

Advocacy: Developing publications and advocacy tools for international, regional and local efforts to end FGM within a generation;

Research: Generating knowledge about the causes and consequences of the practice, how to eliminate it, and how to care for those who have experienced FGM;

Guidance for health systems: Developing training materials and guidelines for health professionals to help them treat and counsel women who have undergone these procedures.


This is a seven day workshop that implements the World Health Organization recommended approach to eliminate FGM known as the Positive deviance approach.

We identified individuals who oppose FGM in the community as well as globally and promoted them as role models. Our potential role models many times include families, teachers, religious figures and others who have abandoned the practice, advised others against it, or made public statements in opposition to it. We document the stories of how these individuals reached their decisions and how they dealt with the confusion, opposition and taking a stand against the majority.

During the workshop we create a forum where these individuals testify about their experiences. This approach is very effective in communities where FGM is widely practiced because of stigma. In Tigania, so many girls perform the practice on themselves and they end up dying. At the end of the workshop, we provide an opportunity for these young women to embrace their studies. This eliminates early marriages caused by poverty. We work with local schools to select top performing young girls and after they complete the workshop, we pay for their school fees until the complete high school.

Our organization consults with tribal and religious leaders in order to determine appropriate alternative rites of passage.  We substitute the cutting ritual with a non cutting festivity after a seven day workshop. In the workshop we teach the girls about their reproductive health, the dangers of FGM, decision making, and the need to embrace education as a young woman in a developing country. During the alternative rite of passage ritual we bring in role models from the same community to answer questions about the challenges of refusing the cut when living in a community that required them to go through the ritual.





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Woman of Paradise is registered and incorporated in the state of Arkansas as a nonprofit organization for purposes that qualify as an exempt organization within the meaning of section 501 (c) 3 of the IRS. EIN Number: 26-4820743
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