But what is the best way forward? In order to get an answer to that, it is important to look at what reasons communities themselves cite for continuing FGM. Research interviews reveal the following:
Culture and tradition, social reasons like the possibility of marriage, perceived health benefits, pressure from elders, regulation of women's sexual desire, and consequences like alienation within the community and its referral network.
Despite the legislation, the practice continues 24 years later. And that is precisely why Enabel really wants to understand why people use these arguments and why they think they are important enough for FGM to continue to exist. Together with the government and the citizens of the Centre-Est region we want to come up with long-lasting solutions.
To this end, we are working in partnership with research institutes in Burkina Faso and Belgium. The University of Liège, the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, the University of Ghent and the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de Population in Ouagadougou, all join forces to carry out an extensive socio-anthropological study
The first results are expected in the spring of 2021 and will be gradually refined.