Learning from the Community-Led Abandonment of Female Genital Cutting: Cultural transformation, Tostan, and implications for the abandonment of early child marriage
Shih, Jana Lin
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Despite growing efforts by the international community, child marriage continues to violate the human rights of over 60 million girls worldwide. The NGO, Tostan, has been cited as one of the most effective programs for shifting community attitudes towards the elimination of child marriage, however, large-scale behavior change has been difficult to achieve. Tostan is internationally renowned as the force behind the voluntary mass abandonment of the traditional practice of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) throughout Africa. This groundbreaking success has led to an influx of research and literature that has shed new light on FGC and behavior change. With the similarities between child marriage and FGC as "harmful traditional practices" and social norms, the new discoveries and theoretical perspectives that have emerged as a result of the community-led abandonment of FGC provides a comparative portraiture that can add to the understanding of the practice of child marriage, and inform recommendations for the Tostan curriculum.
- Global health