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Movement To End Female Genital Cutting Spreads Through Senegal

The New York Times reports on a growing movement in Senegal to end female genital cutting, which was officially banned in the nation more than a decade ago. “The change is happening without the billions of dollars that have poured into other global health priorities throughout the developing world in recent years,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Over the past 15 years, the drive to end the practice has gained such momentum that a majority of Senegalese villages where genital cutting was commonplace have committed to stop it.”

“[H]ere in Senegal, Tostan, a group whose name means ‘breakthrough’ in Wolof, Senegal’s dominant language, has had a major impact with an education program that seeks to build consensus, African-style, on the dangers of the practice, while being careful not to denounce it as barbaric as Western activists have been prone to do,” according to the New York Times. The newspaper highlights some of Tostan’s efforts and tells the stories of several Senegalese men and women working with the organization to end the practice in their country. An estimated 92 million girls and women across Africa have undergone genital cutting, according to the newspaper (Dugger, 10/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.