Holistic Approaches Key to Ending FGM – Study

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Narrow approaches which focus on individuals or appear to attack deep-seated customs are less successful at reducing female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) than those that aim for community-driven change that addresses the complex social dynamics associated with the practice, according to a new study by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Families will and are abandoning FGM/C when the right conditions are in place – conditions that include the involvement of community and religious leaders, legislative reform and [ensure] that any discussion surrounding FGM/C is framed in a way that reinforces the positive aspects of local culture and builds community trust by implementing development projects that address local needs,” James Elder, spokesman for UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre, which conducted the study, told IRIN via email.

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