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Communication for Abandonment of Female Genital Cutting: an Approach Based on Human Rights Principles

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains why non-directive communication, based on human rights principles, is essential to the process of abandoning female genital cutting (FGC). It contrasts communication based on human rights principles with the dominant communication strategy currently used in public health programmes: behaviour change communication (BCC). The chapter summarizes the results of a communication workshop in Nairobi (September, 2003) in which participants developed a strategy for FGC abandonment based on human rights communication. It describes the monitoring and evaluation challenges associated with communication from a human rights perspective. The chapter also explains why communication based on human rights principles is an essential component of the most successful approach to FGC abandonment that has been developed to date: the methodology used by Tostan in West Africa. It concludes by calling on development agencies and governments in the countries where FGC occurs to support communication strategies based on human rights principles.

Keywords: behaviour change communication (BCC); female genital cutting (FGC); human rights principles; Nairobi; West Africa



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