With the commitment to contribute to the creation of a world in equal rights, the Transnational Observatory of Applied Research: New Strategies for the Prevention and Attention of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), proposes a pioneering, culturally respectful, innovative and sustainable methodology based on 30 years of research work and on results-oriented scientific evidence. It is a research project led by Dr Adriana Kaplan (Chair of Knowledge Transfer at UAB) and started in 1987 as a line of transnational and longitudinal research between Gambia and Spain, following the migrations of sub-Saharan Africans to Spain with a transverse anthropological look.
Progressively and with a gender perspective, the approach targets women’s health, their sexual and reproductive rights and the study of FGM in the countries of origin (Gambia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau) as in those of destiny (Spain). Fieldwork since 1989 allows integration into Gambian communities and understanding the profound significance of FGM, developing an effective and sustainable strategy that promotes the abandonment of practice taking into account the symbolic nuances and their Implications in ethnic and gender construction of African women.
The methodological model for the prevention and care of FGM has reached 14,000 beneficiaries between 2010 and 2018. With this model, knowledge is transferred to key social agents through awareness raising, empowerment (governmental and non-governmental institutions, public policy makers, primary care professionals in health, social services and education, lawyers and magistrates, health science students and social sciences, community and religious leaders, circumcisers, men, women and young people) so that they themselves can transfer knowledge to society while promoting preventive actions and empowerment to avoid MGF. It is a circular approach that takes advantage of the synergies that originate with migratory movements, where the actions initiated at origin (Gambia) revert to destination (Spain) and vice versa, and it is implemented in close collaboration with government agents in the country.
This strategy aligns with local policies and strategic plans, contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 4, 5 and 16, reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, promoting the empowerment of women and of gender equality.