Webinar “Feminism & anti-racism: prospects for the fight against FGM in Belgium”
On the 19th of May 2020, GAMS Belgium, an organisation that has been fighting against female genital mutilation (FGM) for over 20 years, led a webinar with the aim of reflecting on the intersectionality of feminism and anti-racism within the specific context of FGM.
Watch the webinar (French)
Why this webinar?
Recent developments at the European level show how important it is, now more than ever, to deconstruct preconceived ideas on FGM. On the 10th of February 2020, two days before the European Parliament was to vote on a resolution for a strategy to end FGM in the world, extremist right-wing groups introduced a counter-resolution instrumentalising the fight against FGM for islamophobic and racist political purposes, labelling it as a “barbaric” practice and “a Muslim problem”. Thankfully, this counter-resolution was not adopted.
Four years after GAMS Belgium’s guide “Genital Mutilation: Addressing Common Myths and Misconceptions” was first published, there is still work to be done to deconstruct the ideas that FGM is a “barbaric” practice perpetrated in the Muslim religion and that only occurs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Deconstructing the discourse around FGM
Creating a dialogue around the misrepresentations of FGM is necessary in order to prevent its political instrumentalisation and to avoid harming the communities or affected women.
FGM is not to be associated with a religion or a continent. The impacted women include Muslim, Christian and animist groups from various regions of Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. However, the discourse surrounding them in Belgium and Europe can often be islamophobic or racist.
- How do the preconceived ideas surrounding FGM impact the communities affected by the practice?
- What are the possible and necessary links between the fight against racism and the fight against FGM?
- How can we move away from a backward-looking and Eurocentric way of thinking towards reflections that are conducive to the independence and empowerment of women on issues that directly impact them?
- Diariou Sow, member of the Board of Directors of GAMS Belgium
- Oumar Diallo, member of the Collective ‘Mémoire décoloniale et lutte contre les discriminations’ and member of the Board of Directors of GAMS Belgium
- Isma Benboulerbah, feminist and anti-racist activist, programme officer at the End FGM EU Network
- Betel Mabille, feminist and anti-racist activist and trainer
With the support of Equal.brussels.