National Program In Mauritania Working To End FGM, IPS Reports

“A multi-pronged strategy to end female genital mutilation [FGM] in Mauritania is making gradual progress, though campaigners acknowledge much remains to be done in a country where more than two-thirds of girls suffer excision,” Inter Press Service reports. “The national program, supported by several development partners, includes lobbying for the adoption of a law criminalizing excision, raising awareness of a fatwa (a religious notice) forbidding excision, and the setting up of regional offices to monitor the practice,” according to the news service.

“Khatto Mint Jiddou, who heads the campaign against gender-based violence at Mauritania’s Ministry for Social Affairs, Childhood and the Family, told IPS that the initiative involves a wide range of people, including civil society activists, doctors and religious leaders,” IPS writes, highlighting the efforts of several individuals advocating against the practice. “We are seeing a positive trend, even if this phenomenon, rooted in socio-cultural considerations, is far from being brought under control,” Aziza Mint Meslem, who works with an NGO called the Mauritanian Association for the Health and Development of Women, said, according to IPS (Abderrahmane, 4/3).