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 Mutilation, which includes more than forty actors.
Political demands 2019-2020
In order to structure its advocacy work, GAMS Belgium has also drawn up a list of priority political demands for 2019-2020:
- To ensure prevention and protection for all girls and women at risk of FGM
- To provide quality and continuous multidisciplinary support to women and girls who have undergone FGM throughout Belgium
- To ensure effective protection for women who have fled forced marriage
- To ensure a positive and non-stigmatizing representation of women affected by FGM and forced marriages
In the context of the Belgian Federal elections in May 2019, GAMS Belgium has published an advocacy note for an improved policy for taking female genital mutilation into account.
GAMS Belgium and the Network of Concerted Strategies are thus very active within the different work groups which aim to difine the policies for equal opportunities, violence against women and children :
- Workgroup coordinated by IEFH for following up the “National Plan of Action for the fight against all forms of gender based violence 2015-2019”.
- Workgroup of FWB, RW et COCOF for following up the “Intra-French-speaking plan of action for the fight against sexist and Domestic violence 2015-2019”
- Workgroup dedicated to FGM bn the Vlaams Forum Kindermishandeling (VFK)
GAMS Belgium, INTACT asbl and the Concerted Strategies presented, on January 27th 2014, the « Guidelines for the prevention and protection of girls at risk of female circumcision » before the joint Commission of the Commission of Culture, Audovisual, aid to the press, Film, Health and Equal Opportunities, and review committee charged with examining questions related to equal opportunities between men and women. These guidelines are the fruit of many interactions with professionals during training, workshops and observations while working in the field.
Platforms and networks
GAMS is active on various platforms at national and international level permitting the demands for women’s rights, the fight against gender based violence, the taking into account of gender, sexual and reproduction rights to be included in development programmes.
At Belgian level
- FPS Public Health support Committee for victims of Domestic Violence.
- Council for French-speaking women in Belgium (CFFB)
- Coordinating the Brussels World March of Women (WMW)
- Health, sexual and reproduction rights workgroup by Because Health
- BE-Gender Platform
- Socio-economic feminist platform
- Violence Platform between partners in the municipality of St-Josse (OR Domestic Violence Platform in the municipality of St-Josse? .. put whichever one is apt !)
- Marriage and Migration Network (RMM?)
- Concerted Strategies Network fight against female genital mutilation (CS-FGM)
- SHARE Migrants Forum – Brussels Coordination
At European and international levels
- End FGM
GAMS Belgium is co-founder of the new End FGM European network which aims to continue the work conducted during 6 years by the European campaign END FGM. The network was created in Rome in May 2014 with 11 members covering 10 European member countries. The network grows bigger every year. GAMS’ deputy director Stephanie Florquin is a member of the Board of Directors for the END FGM network. The network aims to develop and harmonise the prevention policies at a European level, reinforce the capacities of its members and make a plea in favour of the involvement of the diaspora in the fight against FGM in the countries of origin.
- Inter-African Committee (IAC)
The Inter-African Committee (IAC) was created in 1984 following an International seminar about female genital mutilation (FGM) in Dakar, Senegal. The headquarters are located in Addis-Abéba, Ethiopia and the organisation has branches in 28 countries. Its mission is to improve the conditions of life and health for women and children by fighting against any harmful tradional practice affecting their physical, psychological or social welfare. Since 1997, GAMS has been officially recognised as the Belgian section of the Inter-African Committee. Marie De Brouwere represented GAMS Belgium at the IAC General Assembly which took place in Ouagadougou from the 24th to 26th April 2014.