What we do
Ifrah Foundation is dedicated to ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Somalia. We do this through three pillars of action, from Advocacy, Awareness Raising and Community Empowerment. We know that in order to make the greatest impact, we must act on each level simultaneously, over a sustained period of time and the scale required to end FGM in Somalia.
Ifrah Foundation has developed a ‘Model of Systemic Change’ program for the elimination of FGM/C in Somalia, tailored to the cultural context of the region.
Our 'Model of Systemic Change' is informed by extensive research, stake-holder consultation and impact evaluations undertaken by Ifrah Foundation in the form of pilot projects to understand the most effective approaches to the elimination of FGM in Somalia. The work was undertaken with the support of the Somali government and in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 5, of the global abandonment of FGM by 2030.
Ifrah Foundation's ‘Model of Systemic Change’ proposes partnerships with key collaborators, including Government agencies and civil societies, to amplify and sustain the three pillars of action, requiring simultaneous, sustained implementation:
Advocacy, Awareness & Community Empowerment
Community Education and Empowerment: To effect elimination at grass roots level by creating a legal, health and social community support system that empowers individuals to stand up against the practice and protects individual girls.
Ifrah Ahmed's advocacy for the introduction of FGM legisaltion contributed to the adoption of the Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012 in Ireland. Ifrah now engages all relevant stake-holders involved in the parliamentary process to advance Somalia's constitutional ban on FGM, with legislation intended to deter practitioners.
Our advocacy work entails ensuring FGM remains high on the agenda both in Somalia and internationally. Our Dear Daughter Working Group is made up of representative of some the countries most active in supporting gender equality in Somalia including Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, UK and USA.
Raising awareness to the extent of the harms (physical, spiritual, psychological & social), caused by FGM is contributing to a changing narrative in Somalia.
Research undertaken by Ifrah Foundation and others, shows that the belief that FGM is a religious requirements is one of the main drivers sustaining the widespread practice in Somalia. We work with religious leaders so clarify that FGM is not condoned by Islam. This messages is then amplified in national, regional and local media from televisions to radio to social media.
Ifrah Foundation trains individuals to engage effectively with the media, producing high quality content which is broadcast widely. This amplifies our work and contributes to a changing narrative around FGM. Graduates of our media training use their skills to bring further attention to the harms of FGM, often breaking stories to highlight this. See Deer's story, which received widespread national and international coverage, including in The Guardian article below.
We understand that sustainable change has to happen at the individual and community level to end FGM. Our community engagement incorporates training, education, and outreach programmes, with a particular focus on building the capacity of individuals in their communities to support their peers in deciding not to practice FGM.
Through our Dear Daughter Campaign, we engage with a range of community stakeholders particularly religious leaders, mid-wives, community activist and parents, empowering communities, families, parents and guardians to commit not to cut their daughters.
10-year-old girl bleeds to death after female genital mutilation in Somalia. Case is first fatality linked to the mutilation practice that authorities have admitted to in years, in a country where 98% of women and girls are cut