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article imageBurkina Faso: Dial SOS Circumcision and save girls from being cut

By kurtrat     Mar 7, 2007 in World
National telephone hotline in Burkina Faso to stop female circumcision.
The government of Burkina Faso has been waging a decade-long war against female genital mutilation (FGM). Burkina Faso is one of only 16 African states to have outlawed the practice.
Suspect a neighbor is about to put her daughter under the knife? Call SOS Circumcision to report the impending crime.
Deeply ingrained social customs in remote, conservative villages are hard to charge, but the campaign against female circumcision in Burkina Faso has been relatively successful.
Before the law against FGM was passed, government statistics show that around two-thirds of the girls were being circumcised. By the beginning of 2005, this had fallen to between 35 and 40 percent.
SOS Circumcision was set up along with the legislation to provide Burkina Faso's 12 million people with a fast and anonymous way of reporting past and future violations.
Information drives and education and outreach programs at national, regional and local levels have made an impact--genital mutilation is no longer a taboo subject for discussion.
Mariam Lamizana, the Minister for Social Action, said: "Changing people's behaviour does take time--it's about breaking the mental cycle--but we are aiming for zero tolerance. We want to wipe out the practice by 2010."
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