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Young people from Egypt participated in the Global Youth Roundtable on the theme “Accelerating Progress to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation: Put Young People First!” in Somone, Senegal, on November 3-5, 2021.

The event, organized by the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Program to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in partnership with the UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO), aimed at highlighting the contributions of young people to eliminating FGM since the inception of the Joint Program. 

It also drew on their contributions and perspectives to inform Phase IV of the Joint Program; and to launch a global youth movement to accelerate the elimination of FGM.

Reem Elshafaie, Y-PEER Egypt representative, and Mohamed ElFawy, Y-PEER Coordinator at UNFPA Egypt, took part in the Global Youth Roundtable, where they introduced UNFPA Egypt’s and Y-PEER’s activities and achievements under the Joint Program.

I dream that each woman and young girl can feel safe again … can feel that they own the body that they live in,” Elshafaie said during her address, “I dream that everyone here and everyone around the world, even the furthest point of the world, can say out loud no to FGM.”

On his part, Elfawy underlined the importance of engaging young people.

“The most efficient way to target young people is to invest in them and include them through the different levels of planning,” he said.

Participants included youth representatives from the 17 countries of the joint program on FGM: Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Yemen, as well as other countries outside the joint program such as Niger, Central African Republic, Ghana, Togo, Indonesia and Colombia.

ElShafaie said she was happy to take part in the global event, where participants “of diverse backgrounds” exchanged experiences, “trials and efforts toward ending FGM and other human rights violations.”

The event took place in hybrid format in Somone, Senegal, and online via Zoom.