Two girls sit together and work on training documents.

Overcoming female genital mutilation in the Horn of Africa

Regional Programme Improving the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation in the Horn of Africa

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2024 to 2026

  • Products and expertise

    Social development


Female genital mutilation (FGM) is widespread in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. FGM includes all procedures involving the removal of some or all of the external female genitalia without any medical need to do so. This is a severe violation of the human rights to health and physical integrity. The procedure also often leads to serious physical and psychological consequences such as chronic pain, infections, complications during birth and trauma.

FGM is closely intertwined with prevailing social norms, gender roles and other gender-based violence and is deeply rooted in society. Social change is therefore essential to reducing FGM in the long term.

Laws against FGM have been in place in Ethiopia since 2005 and in Sudan since 2020. Somalia is currently working on the ban. However, the efforts of the responsible governmental and non-governmental actors to combat FGM are unsystematic and inadequate.

Men sit together and discuss FGM.© GIZ FGM-Prev


National, regional and local leaders in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan are more effective in changing social norms on female genital mutilation and gender-based violence.


The project supports employees of governmental and non-governmental institutions in skills improvement, joint learning and networking with other actors. In this way, they can work together to develop strategies and approaches that promote social change.

At the same time, the programme advises the responsible national ministries on how to systematically and effectively change social norms and thus better prevent FGM. It develops information and educational campaigns, for example, and also strives to anchor FGM in the political agenda in the long term. To this end, it promotes national coordination mechanisms.

Working closely with community-based organisations is also a priority as they contribute to the dismantling of male-dominated structures in which FGM is rooted through local awareness-raising measures.

Last update: March 2024

Additional information