FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) is the leading African women-led organisation working on female genital mutilation, child marriage and other forms of violence against women and girls in the UK and Africa. For 33 years we have been committed to safeguarding the rights and dignity of African girls and women. We do this through community engagement, women’s empowerment, training of professionals, research, and international advocacy.

Our Vision:

We are working for the day when African girls and women will live in dignity, are healthy, have
choices and enjoy equal rights free from fear of violence.

Our Mission:

FORWARD is an African-led, women’s rights organisation. Our work focuses on responding to
female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, and other forms of violence against women
and girls (VAWG) that impact on the health, dignity and wellbeing of African women and
girls. We work to enable community members, key professionals and policymakers to bring
about social and policy change through strategic networks and partnerships. This allows us to
amplify the impact of our work in multiple spaces.

Our Values

Grounded: We are proud to be an African women-led organisation, with our roots and our
hearts in the community. We have 30 years’ experience of setting the agenda on our issues
and bringing about real change. We are known and respected as the go-to organisation for
African women’s issues, mainly FGM.

Forthright: We are unashamed in our determination to bring the issues facing African women
to attention and to take a lead in tackling them. We are not afraid to speak out about subjects
that might be seen as taboo, knowing that silence is the enemy of change.
Equal: We seek to promote equity and inclusiveness, prioritising the needs of the most
vulnerable and marginalised to ensure their needs, issues and voices are amplified and

Collaborative: We may be the experts in our field, but we don’t believe in operating from
the top down. We listen and learn, then share our knowledge and experience as widely as
possible, nurturing and training our stakeholders and bringing people and networks together.
Our goal is for individuals and communities to bring about their own change – and pass it on.

Accountable: We hold the highest standards of ethical and trustworthy behaviour, and won’t
allow ourselves to be compromised in pursuit of short term gains. We base our decisions and
actions on community-led insights and research, and embed dignity and respect into every
part of our work.

Partnership working: We believe in enabling and facilitating local and grassroots organisations
to deliver better at the local level. We focus our efforts on enabling partners to build their
organisational capacity to develop and build bridges and collaborative working among the
partners we work with.

Registered charity number: 292403