SOLVE magazine Issue 01 2020 - Page 28

EN YATES search und lence lowed Asian from ditional stic gs to wfound d study ments. Bradley This high rate persists despite the efforts of a large number of organisations – global, national and governmental – which has resulted in a complex web of policies and interventions owing to each organisation being focused on its own approach. Professor Bradley says these attempts range from public health campaigns and community advocacy work to the ‘medicalisation’ of FGM, in which the removal of tissue is performed by a medically trained practitioner rather than a traditional ‘cutter’. As Professor Bradley sees it, these interventions have missed an important driver of change: the young men and youth networks that are challenging FGM from within Sudanese societies. “Young men increasingly declare that they do not want to marry cut girls, saying they prefer uncut girls because they are healthier and stronger,” Professor Bradley says. “Young women are also challenging FGM, arguing that it violates their sexual identity and expression.” Youth is providing some of the most effective triggers for changing the minds of families that support FGM, yet research has found that their viewpoint is being squeezed aside by a focus on top-down change. “To effectively address FGM, the process should be bottomup, as it’s a cultural issue,” Professor Bradley says. New map drawn Professor Bradley’s eye for this overlooked but highly significant detail is providing a new a map for moving