In 2009, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Abandonment of FGM/C expanded activities to reach 12 of the 17 countries covered. This report document its activities.
In 2009, a core feature of the programme’s implementation was the fostering of partnerships: with government authorities both at the local and national levels, religious authorities and local religious leaders, the media, civil society organizations of women and in the education and reproductive health sectors. In 2009, these partnerships have served to disseminate knowledge, empower communities and foster an enabling environment for collective social change towards a shift in the FGM/C social norm. By mainstreaming FGM/C into the reproductive health sector, the programme has also contributed to an improvement in the wellbeing of girls and women already subjected to FGM/C.
In 2009, the Joint Programme began working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) on an inter-regional initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa and Arab nations to ensure that the medical profession openly supports the abandonment of FGM/C. The issue of medicalization of the practice has identified as a problem in six countries covered by the Joint Programme, and strategies are being put in place to enforce the physicians’ code of ethics: “Do no harm”.