On the occasion of the “International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation”, the European Union and its partners, Trócaire and SEDHURO, launched on 7 February 2021 a new project to combat Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the Belet Hawa and Luuq districts of the Gedo region in Somalia.
The two-year project (2021-2022) aims at creating a safe environment for women and girls, free from SGBV, while promoting access to their rights. It has two main components: behaviour change interventions to abandon Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and empowerment of community actors and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for sustainable change.
The Government of Somalia has committed to zero tolerance for female genital mutilation in its national development plan. The Somali Women’s Charter also calls for laws to end FGM.
“The EU has always been a steadfast supporter of women’s rights, and more specifically when it comes to combatting Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation practices, said the EU Ambassador to Somalia, Nicolás Berlanga Martinez on the occasion of the launch. It conflicts with the most fundamental human rights. We will continue to support Somalia in its efforts to adopt zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.”
The project, called ‘Facilitating Inclusive Rights Movements’ Actions in Communities to combat Sexual and Gender Based Violence’ (FIRM ACTS Project), is one of several initiatives that address the widespread issues of SGBV and FGM in Somalia funded by the EU through the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. It will adopt a human rights and community based approach to address the root causes of SGBV, and aims to combat harmful norms while promoting women’s agency to claim their rights. It will support CSOs, communities and authorities to harmonize their approaches and support national policies and action plans to combat SGBV.
In line with the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 and the Gender Action Plan III, the European Union reaffirmed it is committed to stepping up the actions to end FGM in Europe and globally.
For more information, visit https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_21_401