Key elements of context
- Traditional practices legitimise Gender Based Violence (GBV) through gender socialisation, values, beliefs and norms
- People still hold on the fact that customary forms (traditional practices) of sexual violence include dowry related problems, female circumcision, and Child / Early marriage to preserve virginity, are practices which are accepted as traditional norms
- Virginity is still revered across ethnic lines and is of considerable importance for the honour of a woman and her family
- Girls are married off as soon as possible in order to preserve their virginity and their family’s honour
- These practices perpetuate the superiority of men and the subordination of women, which results into unequal power relations and GBV oriented problems
Theory of change
During needs assessment workshops conducted at the inception of the project, the community identified that Female Genital Mutilation was a particular issue affecting girls of all ages in the district of Kambia. In the specific initiative highlighted here, the project sought to address the practice in the communities of Masungbala Chiefdom. While previous initiatives had sought to address FGM, their approach had been unsuccessful due to the methods used not showing sensitivity to the existing power relations in the community. As a result of this, the community identified that Intergenerational Dialogue (IGD) would be the best mechanism to facilitate the community questioning the practice of FGM, and engaging the support of elders, Soweis, and chiefs to instigate reform.