The available instruments of enforcement in eradicating female genital mutilation are both formal and informal. Whilst the prevention of FGM is self-evidently a matter for the legal authorities, this is by no means the only way in which upholding the law is – or should be – enforced.
Despite occasional attempts by some proponents of specific approaches to make the issue ‘either/or’, the effectiveness of any one prevention strategy is likely in the end to be enhanced (or just occasionally to be hampered) by the others.
The tools of enforcement include community engagement, education via schools, clinics and other public facilities, working with the transport and migration authorities, media programmes, briefing of professionals and ultimately the legal process itself.
Even all these strategies cannot, however, ensure prevention, especially when the fundamental meanings of FGM are still perceived differently by different elements of the practising communities, the preventative public and and voluntary services, and the general public.
TOPICS CONSIDERED in Chapter 7 of the book Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation:
The ‘meanings’ of FGM Discuss
Public and professional perceptions Discuss
Securing convictions, dissuading others Discuss
Community and public information Discuss
Prevention of criminal ‘FGM tourism’; the FGM ‘passport’ Discuss
(More) girls may be subjected to FGM at a younger age Discuss
Mandatory reporting: is the priority the ‘victim’ now, or others in the future? Discuss
False accusation; fear of repercussions or reprisals Discuss
Risk, guilt and punishment Discuss
Gendered crime and diversity Discuss
Next steps Discuss
* Any other issues concerning prevention (formal approaches)? Discuss