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A Movement Online To End Female Genital Cutting

Three million girls a year in Africa alone are at risk of female genital cutting (FGC) and 140 million women worldwide live with the harmful consequences of this human rights violation. FGC is a social norm, and it is changing at the grassroots where communities are abandoning thanks to human rights based community empowerment. Across West Africa the message is spreading from person to person, village to village, and inspiring people elsewhere, too. Around the world a movement is growing with individuals, organisations and communities pushing for an end to the practice and we are harnessing this online. Foot binding ended in China in less than 20 years at the turn of the 19th-20th century; FGC could go the same way and we know that the web, social media, new mobile technology all have a part to play. Born out of success on the YouTube Davos Debates in 2010, Orchid Project believes an end to FGC is possible, and that by building an online movement, we will see this within a lifetime.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. We are based in the Global North. Female genital cutting primarily affects women and girls in the Global South. How do we involve them in this movement?
  2. How does an online movement encourage and enable people to take action in their own communities?
  3. Female genital cutting is a very sensitive issue, sitting within the already controversial area of women's rights, human rights and international development. How do we make the case for ending female genital cutting when so many other issues are demanding our attention?
  4. Female genital cutting is an under-resourced issue. How do we start the movement with little funding?
  5. In this climate of creating, providing and consuming information in bite-sized chunks how do we communicate appropriately online about a very sensitive issue?



Ruth Taylor, Programme Co-ordinator, Orchid Project

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