Report Praises IntraHealth Ethiopia's Work Against Female Genital Cutting

An in-depth study has recognized IntraHealth's work against female genital cutting (FGC) in Ethiopia as one of the most promising approaches for ending this harmful practice against girls and young women. The Population Reference Bureau's December 2006 report, 'Abandoning Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting' lauds IntraHealth's approach as 'both successful and impressive.' The PRB team evaluated 30 practices from 19 countries and selected three top approaches that 'have a demonstrable and tangible impact, are socially, culturally, and economically sustainable, and have the potential for replication.' Along with IntraHealth's project, the report selected interventions from the Navrongo FGM Experiment (Ghana) and Tostan: The Community Empowerment Program (Sénégal). The study was funded by USAID over a four-year period.

The report sums up IntraHealth's work as follows:

What makes this project for FGC abandonment in Ethiopia both successful and impressive is its extensive range of activities and its multi-faceted approach to changing FGC knowledge and behavior. Although bridging knowledge gaps, especially among different groups in the community, is a key component of the approach, it is more than just an education program. Generating dialogue, empowering women and communities to advocate against FGC, involving influential religious and political leaders, and creating networks of anti-FGC groups from the grassroots to the national level are just some of the activities that have contributed to its success and sustainability. This project was implemented by IntraHealth International with the National Committee on Traditional Practices of Ethiopia.

The National Committee on Traditional Practices of Ethiopia continues to expand IntraHealth's approach nationwide, and a number of grassroots organizations have also adapted it for their efforts to encourage abandonment of FGC.