Quilt number five violence against women and girls – Ending FGM

It’s taken a while but I’ve finally finished the patchwork and background quilting on quilt number five. The Cariad quilt design was a bit more tricky to construct than I thought it would be but definitely worth it. I’m pleased with the colour choices I think they update the look of the quilt while preserving the traditional design.

For the background quilting I did simple stitch in the ditch. Traditional Welsh quilters often quilted intricate designs but I don’t want to distort or overshadow the embroidery that I will be adding.

In my previous post about quilt number five I explained that I wanted to explore how to end FGM, looking at the alternatives to UKIPS ridiculous plan to abuse the rights of girls with compulsory knicker checks.

There have been a number of programmes around the world with the aim of ending FGM. Those that are successful are all built on a foundation of human rights and gender equality.

Ending FGM means bringing about behavioural change within a society. There are many theories about how to bring about behavioural change on an individual and societal level, too many to explore in detail here.  Fundamentally though real change is not achieved by coercion or negative judgement. The goal is to encourage and motivate a society to make a collective choice to abandon FGM criticism and attack does not achieve that. Punitive and strictly legal approaches will be perceived as a direct attack on culture and tradition and people stop listening.

Reading about the projects around the world that have led to ending FGM and the work that charities do to support communities in making the choice to abandon FGM several themes were repeated over and over again. Essentially any attempt to end FGM should cover the following points.

  1. Build on human rights and gender equality
  2. Empower women and girls
  3. Education
  4. Public dialogue
  5. Public pledges
  6. Encourage a collective choice to abandon FGM

I was intrigued by the concept of public pledges and why they were a key part of successful projects to end FGM. A booklet produced by UNFPA explained the importance of public pledges “public declarations can signal the building of a critical mass after which change tends to become rapid and universal” That makes sense to me, it’s a public demonstration of the acceptance of and support for behavioural change within a society.

This is the link to the UNFPA leaflet which has more details about successful programmes to FGM Aligning with local cultures to end female genital mutilation / cutting

I want quilt number five to focus on this message so I plan to embroider these six points, as I see it the foundation for bringing about the end of FGM. Time to get stitching.

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