GAMS Belgium, created in 1996 by Khadidiatou Diallo, is the Group for the Abolition of female genital mutilation (french: Groupe pour l’Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles féminines).
In 1997, GAMS Belgium was officially recognised as the Belgian Section of The Inter-African Committee for the fight against all practices affecting the health of mother and child (CIAF).
GAMS Belgium was the initiative in 2008 for the creation of the Network of Concerted Strategies for foghting against Female Genital Mutilation, a network today co-hosted by GAMS, INTACT and the Family Planning Centre FPS, Liège.
GAMS Belgium is also co-founder of the European Network End FGM.
GAMS Belgium’s head office is located at 6, Rue Gabrielle Petit, – 1080 Brussels, with three more branches in: Antwerp, Namur and Liège.
The objective of GAMS Belgium is to contribute to the abandonment of FGM in Belgium and worldwide.
- Preventing FGM of girls and women at risk living in Belgium;
- Reduce the health, social and psychological impact of FGM by a comprehensive care of girls and women who have undergone FGM and their families;
- Promote collaboration and intersectional action, ensure advocacy at national and international levels;
- Support programmes for the abandonment of FGM in Africa.
We recognise FGM as a gender-based violence.
To achieve its objectives, GAMS Belgium has put into place the following activities:
- Psycho-social support:GAMS offers a support service, orientation (medico-psychosocial and legal) and if necessary psycho-social support depending on the situation, needs and demands of the person. GAMS receives those affected by FGM, forced marriages and other types of gender-based violence, in asylum proceedings, out of asylum procedure ( illegal residence), recognised, regularised refugees coming into Belgium through family reunification or other bias. Since 2009, it is equally possible to benefit from art-therapy and psychologic support within the association. Working themes include FGM (recurring images featuring cutting, sexual phobia, avoiding emotional and sexual relationships, questions about non-circumcised women,…) among other subjects.
- Community workshopsThese workshops are a specificity to GAMS Belgium. GAMS’ registered members can take part in the different workshops: monthly gatherings, workshops about pregnancy, youth workshop and children’s workshop.
- Raising awareness and information:GAMS Belgium’s first mission is to raise awareness, inform the public and the communities concerned about genital mutilation and forced marriage. Every year we organise several events around February 6th, the International Day of Zero Tolerence for Female Genital Mutilation, but we don’t limit ourselves to just this one day, the awareness activities are held throughout the year. Female genital mutilation is a gender based violence and in our animations we expand the discussion to forced marriage and other acts of violence of this kind.We adapt to the public, time available and the place.
- Training:GAMS Belgium organises ongoing training throughout the year for professionals from different sectors (medical, asylum, social, legal, early childhood,…). GAMS expertise focuses on the social-cultural, medical and psychological aspects. The legal aspects are represented by our partner INTACT asbl. We also intervene in the basic curriculum for High Schools for Midwifery and in Medical Facilties.
- Community relays: Pour soutenir les personnes qui veulent s’engager dans la lutte contre les MGF dans leur communauté, le GAMS Belgique organise depuis 2014 des formations pour les femmes et hommes relais communautaires. Leur rôle est de sensibiliser leurs communautés, mais aussi d’orienter des personnes vers les services appropriés, d’accompagner une femme concernée vers les services médicaux ou juridiques, de traduire lors d’entretiens psychosociaux, etc. Ces relais ont un statut de bénévole au GAMS Belgique et sont regroupés-es dans une équipe motivée. Ils/elles suivent des supervisions régulières et sont tenus au secret professionnel.
- Advocacy: One of GAMS missions is to go back to the needs in the field on a political level. The strength behind GAMS plea is that it is based on a daily practice with the communities concerned and in different professional sectors. The different recommendations brought about by GAMS are the fruit of joint reflection within the Network of Concerted Stategies for the fight against female genital mutilations, which includes more than forty actors (www.strategiesconcertees-mgf.be).
- Expertise:GAMS conducts its own operational research ( whose results will be used to improve the activities in the field),initiates and disseminates the research conducted by the institutions such as the Observatory for Health and Sexuality, the Institute of Tropical Medicine , Antwerp, or the ICRH, Ghent. GAMS Belgium has within its team an expertise of epidemiological material (analysis of the results of demographic studies and health), medical (guidelines for professionals), psychological ( individual and group support) and socio-cultural (knowledge of practices in various ethnic groups and communities). GAMS Belgium is thus regularly sought by Ministerial Offices, administrations, lawyers, journalists to give the current situation in Belgium or abroad on the importance of the problem and the programmes in place.
GAMS Belgium in the press
- 19th Nov. 2016 – Article La Libre: En Belgique, les femmes victimes d’excision restent en enfer
- 19th May 2016 – Article BRUZZ by Sarah De Sloover: ‘1.500 Brusselse vrouwen dreigen besneden te worden.‘
- 8th March 2016 – Report on Télésambre (video): Le témoignage poignant de Nadima, excisée à 6 ans
- 1st March 2016 – Article Le Soir by Tiffany Sales: Légaliser l’excision en pratique médicale?
- 24th February 2016 – Article L’avenir.net: Excision minimaliste: ‘On peut le craindre aussi en Belgique’
- 6th February 2016 – Article Knack: Mannen vervoegen strijd tegen genitale verminking
- 5th February 2016 – Article 7sur7: Les mutilations génitales affectent aussi les hommes
- 5th February 2016 – Article De Morgen: ‘Men Speak Out’ tegen genitale verminking bij vrouwen
- 5th February 2016 – Article VTM: 13.112 besneden vrouwen in België
- 4th February 2016 – Article De Gazet van Antwerpen: Aantal besneden vrouwen in Antwerpen verdubbeld tot 3.100
- 10th Dec. 2015 – Article Bel’Afrika Media: Projet Luttons contre les violences faites aux femmes, rencontre GAMS ASBL
- October 2015 – Article Europe & Me: Where does Europe stand on female genital mutilation?
- 24th June 2015 – Article La Capitale: Lancement de formations de médecins généralistes pour lutter contre l’excision
- 19th June 2015 – Article L’avenir.net: Excision. Comment les aider à se reconstruire?
- 12th May 2015 – Article L’avenir.net: Un nombre croissant de protections accordées pour mutilations génitales
- 6th February 2015 – Article Le Soir: A Flagey, les jeunes sont sensibilisés contre l’excision
- 6th February 2014 – Article DH: Un flashmob contre l’excision
- 27th January 2014 – Article 7sur7: Les signalements d’excision augmentent
Director GAMS Belgium
Midwife referent FGM
0473 41 06 91
Katrien De Koster
Flanders helpdesk Coordinator
0495 93 93 18
Recent press releases