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GERMANY/TOGO: German NGO Backs Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation in Togo

A group of seven organisations working to promote women's we lfare in Togo is to receive assistance from "INTACT", a German NGO, in their efforts to stop female genital mutilation in the west African country.

An agreement to this effect will be signed next month between the group and INTACT.

According to INTACT's chairperson, Christa Muller, the NGO, originally working with three organisations, based in the Plateaux and Centre regions, has admitted four more organisations to strengthen its fight against female circumcision which has a prevalence rate of 6 to 7 per cent.

Under the new partnership, the parties will take their campaign to areas where the practice is still taking place -- 19 of the country's 31 prefectures.

Muller told a news conference here Saturday that new jobs would be found for the women who carry out the practice.

"They will be given finances to enable them find other lucrative businesses," Mrs. Akuavi Odah, chairperson of Benin-based NGO "Odjougbo" (INTACT's main partner), stressed.

The plan of action endorsed by Togolese NGOs also indicates that INTACT will sponsor 21 programme managers, both women and men, who will later be deployed on the ground to raise awareness among the population on the dangers of female genital mutilations.

INTACT, which has long engaged in similar initiatives in Benin, intends to help Togo eradicate the phenomenon.

"Togo is today the main target of our fight against female genital mutilation as it has enacted a law to combat FGM," Odah declared, saying that her NGO was pla n ning to launch several initiatives in cooperation with women's associations, re l igious and traditional leaders as well as the Togolese government.

The Germany-based NGO was established in 1996 and works towards the eradication of female circumcision in countries like Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Togo.

SOURCE: Afrique en Ligne

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DATE: 19/07/2008

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