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Update, June 1996

Intra-Agency Working Group on FGM
(Posted to FGM-L with Permission)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has strengthened its commitment to eradicating female genital mutilation (FGM) during the past two fiscal years. In FY94, nearly $500,000 was allocated toward this effort; in FY95, USAID obligated $1,000,000 to develop and integrate educational programs to eradicate FGM into population, health, education, and women in development activities.
USAID has now undertaken several activities in this area:

1. FGM Strategy

The Research, Action, and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO), under the direction of Dr. Nahid Toubia, is collecting and reviewing background information, and will provide advice and assistance in developing the Agency's Strategy for the Eradication of FGM. The Strategy is expected to be complete in early FY97.

2. Human Rights and Legal Reform Interventions:

The Office of Women in Development is collaborating with the Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) to strengthen the efforts of women's groups and community organizations to educate communities, the media and policymakers about human rights and to implement preventive programs, including legal reform.

3. Community Interventions and Operations

Research Operations research will be used to develop and test community- level interventions for the prevention of FGM in several countries (Kenya, Mali, Guinea). Information and education materials are being developed in Egypt.

4. Demographic and Health Survey Module (DHS)

A module on FGM has been developed for use in the DHS. This module has been used in 8 countries: Sudan, Yemen, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Mali, Republique Centrafricaine, Tanzania, and Eritrea.

5. Training for Auxiliary Health Workers

The Primary Providers' Education and Training in Reproductive Health (PRIME) contract (from the Center for Population, Health, and Nutrition) which focuses on the training of auxiliary health workers, will include training about FGM as one of its training foci.

6. Situation Analysis

Questions about FGM have been developed for use in the Situation Analysis for the Center for Population, Health, and Nutrition. These questions have been used in both Burkina Faso and Kenya.

7. FGM Working Group

An Agency-wide Task Force, comprised of staff from the Global Bureau, Regional Bureaus, and the Bureau of Policy and Program Coordination, meets on a regular basis throughout the year to discuss issues and address areas of particular concern.

8. International Policy

USAID participated in the first World Health Organization Technical Working Group on FGM, which developed the international definition and classification of FGM (Geneva, 1995). Through Cooperating Agencies, USAID was also represented at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) FGM Conference (Addis, 1996).

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