In the mid 2000’s, an informal US End FGM/C Network (the Network) emerged as a loose affiliation of various stakeholders working on female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) prevention efforts both in the U.S. and abroad.
Since then, the Network has been informally facilitating information exchanges, galvanizing funding opportunities for FGM/C research and programs, and organizing convening on FGM/C in the U.S. In December 2016, the Network played a key role in advancing the End Violence against Girls: Summit on FGM/C. This major event, which involved over 200 FGM/C leaders from across the country and around the world, spurred new momentum in support of FGM/C abandonment efforts both in the U.S. and globally.
In April 2017, the Network – along with Equality Now, Safe Hands for Girls, and the U.S. Institute of Peace – disseminated the final Report from the End Violence Against Girls: Summit on FGM/C. In addition to highlighting strategic approaches to addressing FGM/C among various stakeholders, the report also called for increased coordination and collaboration among government, front line professionals, community leaders and organizations, and activists focused on ending FGM/C.
Above: End Violence Against Girls Summit on FGM C. Photos – United States Institute of Peace.
With continued support from the Wallace Global Fund, the Network commissioned a scoping study in 2017 to explore the context and landscape of FGM/C work in the U.S. to inform the Network’s efforts to scale up its work. Results demonstrated the wide belief that the creation of a more formal and comprehensive U.S. Network would better enable stakeholders across the U.S. to find support, build on each other’s work, and amplify common themes around ending FGM/C. With this information in hand, in April of 2018, the Network was officially launched.