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NSW Education Program on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

To find out more about the NSW Education Program on FGM click on the links below:  


Mission

The mission of the NSW Education Program on FGM is to adopt a human rights approach to working with new and existing communities, key stakeholders and service providers using a range of strategies and programs to prevent the occurrence of FGM in NSW and minimise the harmful health effects to women, girls and families who are affected by the practice.


Goals

  1. Affected communities are empowered through actions that assist them to recognise the health and social effects of FGM and have assumed responsibility and leadership in sustaining the goals of the Program
  2. Workforces trained and skilled in the issues of FGM and providing culturally competent care to affected communities
  3. A range of appropriate educational resource material developed / procured on FGM that can support and inform the FGM Program


Services

The program promotes the development of a holistic health approach in working with communities affected by FGM by:

  • facilitating access to the full range of health services in NSW for women, girls and their families affected by or at risk of the practice
  • preventing the occurrence of FGM through an emphasis on community education, information and support 
  • assisting women, girls and their families living in NSW who have been affected by FGM to minimise the harmful effects
  • strengthening community ownership of the issues and appropriate approaches to prevention of FGM.

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Target Communities

 The Program is currently working with members of the Egyptian, Ethiopian, Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, Somali, Sudanese, Liberian and Eritrean communities and is planning to extend its services to communities from Burundi and Congo in the future.
These communities are diverse. They differ in culture, language, religion, social structures, background and history of settlement in Australia. The languages spoken within the target communities include Arabic, Amharic, Tigrinya, Igbo/Yoruba, Somali and Krio.


Community Education Program

The Community Education Program works directly with communities resident in NSW, who have come from countries where FGM is practiced. 
The main community education strategy is the women’s health program: Women’s Health and Traditions in A New Society (WHATINS). This is an 11-session education program conducted by bi-lingual community workers (BCW) with women in the target communities. WHATINS aims to explore women’s health issues, including the health aspects of FGM and the NSW law on FGM. The WHATINS program provides a safe and comfortable environment in which women can confront their own experiences with the practice.
All strategies are based on the core values of respecting and valuing culture whilst emphasising the harmful nature of the practice to the health and well-being of the women and children affected.
The strategies recognise the knowledge base of members of the communities and tap into their existing knowledge and capacities to expand the scope of the program. Individual cultural contexts are explored towards working in a culturally competent manner.
For further information on the Community Education Program contact:

Linda George 
Community Education Officer
Email: Linda George


 

 

Professional Education

The Program provides education for health care professionals, counsellors, welfare workers and police who may come into contact with women and girls who are at risk of FGM or have been subjected to the procedure. For further information on the Professional Education Program contact:

Linda George
Community Education Officer
Email: Linda George 

 


 

Resource development and work with the relevant Area Health Services and child protection agencies

The NSW Education Program on FGM publishes a variety of resources. These resources include books, brochures, booklets, banners, posters and postcards and are available to community groups, service providers and educators as tools for information dissemination and education. 

Go to our Resources pages to obtain copies of our publications
Click HERE to download a copy of the NSW Education Program on FGM Brochure

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Last Updated 03 Jun 2015

 

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