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FORWARD’s vision is; A world where women and girls live in dignity, are healthy, have choices and equal opportunities.

To achieve this vision we work on three key issues: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Child Marriage and Obstetric Fistula. Our approach to these issues includes community engagement and government lobbying, in recognition that many levels must be engaged to end these practices.

Engaging with the communities affected by FGM, child marriage and obstetric fistula is the basis of FORWARD’s work. Our programmes enable African women and girls from affected communities to gain the confidence and skills to become advocates for change.

Our work on FGM, child marriage and obstetric fistula is informed by research carried out by women and girls in their communities. This enables them to become champions of the change they want to see, and ensures that our work is based on the community’s expressed needs.

FORWARD in the UK

60,000 girls under 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK (Equality Now 2014)

137,000 girls and women are living with the consequences of FGM in the UK (Equality Now 2014)

FORWARD works primarily with women and girls African diaspora communities to tackle the practice of FGM in the UK through community engagement, youth activism and advocacy.

FORWARD in Africa

FGM takes place in 29 countries in Africa affecting over 125 million girls and women worldwide. (Unicef 2013)

39,000 girls under 18 are married every day worldwide (Unicef 2013)

In sub Saharan Africa 40% of girls are married before the age of 18 (Unicef 2014)

Obstetric fistula is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, where over 2 million girls and women are living with it. (WHO 2014)

The health, well-being and life choices of millions of girls and women in Africa are affected by FGM, Child Marriage and Obstetric Fistula. FORWARD works with local partners in Africa to carry out research, build capacity of local and national organisations and enable change around these issues.