Around the world, more than 140 million girls are victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM involves the agonizing removal of external female genitalia. It is believed to reduce a woman’s libido and help her resist “illicit” sexual acts so she remains modest and pure.
The practice is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. But thousands of girls across Africa continue to be cut each day. The cruelty and violence must be stopped.
Burkina Faso, in West Africa, has strong laws against FGM, but winning hearts and minds is another matter. The practice is deeply rooted in culture and cuts across class, religion and ethnic groups. Over 70% of women in Burkina Faso have undergone the procedure.
This is why we’ve launched ‘Kick Out Female Genital Cutting’ here, in an effort to end FGM for good.
The project is based in the town on Bobo Dioulasso and will use the universal love of football as a tool to educate and end the practice of cutting girls. We are working alongside teachers, parents, school children and local leaders using football and coaching to combat the abusive cutting.
Despite it being incredibly painful, distressing and dangerous many cultures view FGM as a perfectly normal and acceptable part of life for girls as young as five. Girls are forced to undergo the most horrifying procedure at the request of their family members.
140 million girls worldwide are victims of FGM. That’s more than the entire population of the UK and France combined.
FGM has no health benefits for women. As well as causing trauma and pain, FGM can cause cysts, infections, infertility, increased risk of child-birth and is a violation of human rights.
At Coaching for Hope, we want to change that. Opening up discussion and debate about why FGM needs to end is the key to stopping this barbaric act. Using active learning on the pitch to empower and educate those involved with the practice.
We believe that active learning allows players to bring up issues and views that they would not feel comfortable raising in a more formal classroom setting. Our skilled coaches lead discussions so that all feel confident to speak or admit they don’t know.
In order to reduce the incidence of FGM we use this method to run carefully devised sessions which explore issues like a child’s right not to be touched anywhere they don’t want; a girls right to play and be physically active; how girls feel about the choices they have to make in life and why their sisters or cousins might be cut and what problems it can cause.