News overview

MEN SPEAK OUT project launched

GAMS Belgium, FORWARD UK, HIMILO foundation in Netherlands and the Institute of Tropical Medicine have launched MEN SPEAK OUT, a project that aims to engage men in the prevention of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Europe. MEN SPEAK OUT is co-funded by the European Commission Daphne Programme.

Today, FGM is seen as a "women's affair". Men hardly interfere on the issue and their views on the practice are often unclear. However, since FGM concerns all members of the community, men can, and should, play an important role in ending FGM. Men's involvement in combatting FGM is crucial and can accelerate the abandonment of the practice in Europe, and by extension in the countries of origin. 

Within the scope of this project, a quantitative and qualitative research study will be conducted in Belgium, UK and the Netherlands to increase knowledge on the role of men in the perpetuation of the practice. Peer educators will be trained in the three countries, using a human right and gender approach specifically targeting men.

MEN SPEAK OUT will result in the first comparative report across the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands of male perceptions on FGM. The project will also come up with a training manual for male peer educators, an educational booklet to promote the dialogue of FGM between men and women, and an awareness-raising campaign using posters, video clips and a documentary.

The researchers expect to reach 6000 men, women and youth with MEN SPEAK OUT activities. The project is coordinated by Fabienne Richard of GAMS. ITM contributes via the social scientists of its Unit of Medical Anthropology in the Department of Public Health.

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