144 communities in Guinea-Bissau publicly declare their promotion of human rights, abandon female genital cuttingDecember 11, 2012 by Sally Farhat Kassab
Tostan has big news to share: 144 communities in Guinea-Bissau will publicly declare their promotion of human rights, including abandoning female genital cutting and child marriage, and embracing all human rights and responsibilities.
The first declaration of 75 communities in the Cambajú, Bafata Region was yesterday. Here’s more from the Tostan blog:
“The curriculum of Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP) begins with interactive sessions on democracy, human rights, and problem solving. These themes are the basis of the programand relate to later sessions on hygiene, health, literacy, math, and project management. By centering the program on human rights, participants are able to identify rights-affirming practices they wish to reinforce in their communities and harmful practices they wish to abandon.
Human rights provide a framework for communities to evaluate their needs and to design action plans that include the needs of everyone. When human rights are used as the basis for development, initiatives can better take into account the need for balance in ensuring that benefits are extended to all groups; women, men, children, people with disabilities, and people from different ethnicities all deserve to benefit.
International Human Rights Day also marks the culmination of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. Yesterday, 15 communities in Diégoune in the Ziguinchor region of Senegal held an awareness-raising event with Tostan’s Peace and Security Project centered on the theme “Violence against women remains an obstacle to peace.”
Communities presented how abandoning all forms of violence can lead to more peace in the home, the community and beyond through theater, speeches, song and dance.
Tostan began implementing our Community Empowerment Program in 39 communities in three regions of Guinea-Bissau in 2008 in partnership with the Government of Guinea-Bissau, UNICEF, and UNFPA. Three local NGOs also participated in the training and project implementation.
The three upcoming declarations are historic in that this is the first time participants of the Tostan program have decided to publicly embrace all human rights and responsibilities in addition to abandoning the practices of female genital cutting and child/forced marriage.