|European Network for the Prevention and Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation
The National Board of Health and Welfare
106 30 STOCKHOLM
The undersigned, Fana Habteab, is a resident of Uppsala. I am writing this letter to bring to your attention the composition of the new governing Board of the European Network for Prevention and Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (EuroNet-FGM) and to appeal for assistance in the Board's future actions.
As a background, I would like to recall in brief the progress of the campaign against FGM in Europe in general.
The last three decades saw the influx of many persons to Europe from Africa and other countries where the practice of FGM is deeply rooted in tradition. It soon became evident that these persons brought with them the practice of FGM. unless checked in thime, it was clear that the practice would be continued in Europe. Hence various associations in different authorities, health officials of institutions, and various other bodies did a great deal in helping advance the campaign.
Thanks to the effort of all concerned, the nature and types of FGM, its effect on the physical and psychological wellbeing of its victims, and its incompatibility with present-day human rights standards are now generally known. Goverments have legislated laws making the practice punishable. Some prosecutions have taken place and punishments have been handed out.
In order to make the campaign against FGM more effective it was found necessary to establish a network of national associations in Europe with the same objectives.
Accordingly, the European Network for the Prevention and Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (EuroNet-FGM) was established in 2002. It provides a platform for coordinating campaign actions and views. It has now 35 members organizations from different European countries. Its head office is in Brussels, Belgium. Until April 2009 the Network was managed by a Board comprising elected officers from associations based in countries that geographically were not too far away from Belgium.
In the election of April 2009. Fana Habteab from Sweden, Mrs. Ambara Hashi Nut from Denmark, and Mrs. Batulo Essak from Finland were respectively made President, Vice President and Treasurer. Dr. Toe Levin from Germany was later on made Secretary. Members from the Scandinavian countries have accordingly come to constitute a majority on the Board
As part of its duties, the new Board of the Network is planning the arrangement of seminars and the setting up of workshops. It intends to hold the Network's general assembly in April 2011 in Stockholm.
I feel confident that the Scandinavian countries will extend their generous hand to assist the Board that now comprises a Scandinavian majority. In this spirit, I am writing this letter to appeal for grant to help finance operational expenses such as travel to and from Brussels for Board and other types of meetings, hotel accommodations, office rentals and materials, remuneration for local employees, and the arrangement of the general assembly of April 2011 planned to be held in Stockholm.
I am well aware of and grateful for the generous help by the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden that has been and continues to be given to our local associations in Sweden that campaign against FGM.
I feel that the two other Board members from Denmark and Finland can each confidently address this same appeal to the appropriate authorities and bodies of their respective countries of residence. Dr. Tobe Levin is also doing her best to obtain funds from other countries.
A lot has been done towards the eradication of the FGM, but a lot more needs to be done with sustained effectiveness.
With many thanks for your kind attention,
Chairperson of Female Integrity, Uppsala and President of EuroNet-FGM
CC: Mrs. Ambara Hashi Nur, President of Somali Women Organisation in Denmark and Vice President of EuroNet-FGM
Mrs. Batulo Essak, Representative of Africarewo (African Care Women) and Treasurer of EuroNET-FGM
Dr. Tobe Levin, President FORWARD-Germany, e.V. and Secretary of EuroNET-FGM