Stopping Female Geniatal Mutilation in Afar
This project builds on the past 3 years experience wherein APDA has begun to respond to the demands of Afar pastoral women to facilitate the stopping of FGM in project areas as the chief traditional practice harming pastoral women along with other practices that take away women's rights.
The project is framed within the overall and compelling need to improve the health and well-being of Afar pastoral women, particularly in supporting safer motherhood, reducing their daily workload and in assuring basic disease prevention in respect to the killer - diseases such as malaria, anemia and diarrhea.
Therefore the project will support the work of 30 women extension workers (WEWs). In order to consolidate the link with the local and religious leaders, a harmful practices awareness coordinator will be employed along with a person to manage the specific task of reducing the risk of malaria to women and their children. Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) as the basic practitioners intervening with re-productive pastoral women are central to not only stop FGM but also give up other traditions identified as harming mother and/ or the newborn.
The project will continue the strategy of using local religious leaders to gain a community consensus on stopping harmful practices with the added dimension of the religious leaders reviewing their progress on the matter every six months. In addition, WEWs and APDA will identify FGM practitioners, calling them to a conference wherein WEWs, the harmful practices awareness coordinator and the Islamic leadership in Afar Region will bring these women to the point to leave the practice.
The project will also publicize the results through Afar - language media (radio and different publications in Afar) gaining a wider coverage of awareness and response.