The United to END FGM (UEFGM) e-learning course addresses the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the context of:
    • health services
    • asylum
    • law
    • judiciary
    • law enforcement /police
    • education
    • social services
    • child protection
    • media
    • civil society
    • human rights

The UEFGM e-learning course is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of professionals, including:
    • health professionals (e.g. nurses, midwives, doctors, gynaecologists, mental health professionals)
    • asylum and migration officers
    • reception centre and migration service staff
    • legal professionals and judicial authorities officers
    • social workers and child protection officers
    • police/law enforcement professionals
    • teachers, academics, students
    • policymakers (e.g. from ministries/departments of asylum, health, interior, justice)
    • EU and national institutions and agencies (e.g. for international protection, migration, victims of crime)
    • media professionals
    • NGOs, women’s and migrant organisations, shelters
    • states and statutory agencies to better comply with international obligations

Registration

If you are interested in registering for a UEFGM e-learning course, please read the information below. Once you have chosen your preferred stream of study, follow the step-by-step guide for registration. You will then be issued with a secure username and password, enabling you to access the online learning platform.


General Learning Outcomes

The UEFGM e-learning course aims to enhance the skills of a wide range of professionals who provide support and protection to women and girls affected by FGM. By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

    • describe the types and effects of FGM
    • communicate about FGM in a culture-sensitive manner
    • frame FGM as an abuse of human rights
    • identify relevant European and international asylum regulations and treaty provisions
    • adopt a transcultural approach to the healthcare needs of affected women and girls
    • adopt a human-rights approach that is gender and culturally sensitive, in the context of health, asylum, the law, the judiciary, law enforcement/police, education, social and child protection, the media, civil society and human rights

Course Structure

The e-learning course consists of two Foundation Modules and 11 Specialised Modules.

  • Foundation Modules provide an introduction to understanding female genital mutilation (FGM) as a human-rights issue and a particular form of gender-based violence, including a deeper understanding of the gender and social dynamics involved.
  • Specialised Modules offer professionals the opportunity to expand their knowledge of FGM by selecting two further modules on a range of topics relevant to fields of expertise.



Each module combines a variety of material and exercises, including docudrama, case studies, additional reading and self-assessment quizzes, providing the learner with a wide and informed perspective from which to develop essential skills.
Course participants are expected to complete a short self-assessment quiz or interactive game at the end of each module, attaining at least eight correct answers before proceeding to the next module. The quiz may be taken up to three times. After completing all required modules and quizzes, the participant is requested to fill out a brief course evaluation. The participant will then receive an electronic certificate.



Streams of Study

Course participants are invited to register for one of 6 streams of study. Participants in all streams must complete the two Foundation Modules. Additional modules to be completed are as follows:

Module 1: Introduction to Female Genital Mutilation

Target Group: All professionals

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 1 provides an overview of issues related to female genital mutilation (FGM) and its prevalence in Europe and beyond. Key objectives are to:

    • understand basic facts about FGM, including definition, typology and prevalence in Europe and internationally
    • describe key cultural and social factors determining differences in how FGM is practised
    • distinguish immediate and long-term consequences of FGM
    • recognise FGM as a violation of human rights

Methods: Video material, supporting documents, useful links, factsheets, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.


Module 2: FGM: Understanding Gender and Social Dynamics

Target Group: All professionals

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: This module focuses on the interconnectedness of female genital mutilation (FGM) and social and gender dynamics. Key objectives are to

    • understand the role of FGM in defining gender identity and power dynamics
    • explain why FGM can be understood as a social norm
    • describe how gender inequality affects women and how this can be related to FGM
    • illustrate how the migration process intersects with gender identity and power dynamics
    • identify ways of promoting an end to FGM from a gender and a social-norm perspective

Methods: Video material, supporting documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.

Module 3: Consequences of FGM on Women’s Health and their Management

Target Group: This module has been designed for use by doctors, nurses and midwives, to complement pre- or in-service training. It can also be used by medical students and other primary health-care providers/workers, as well as teachers, social workers and other public (health) officers.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 3 provides a comprehensive overview of the health consequences of FGM (physical, psychological, sexual and obstetric) and their management by a multidisciplinary team. Surgical procedures such as deinfibulation and reconstructive surgery are also covered.

Key objectives are to:

    • describe physical, psychological, sexual and obstetric consequences of FGM
    • recognise complications and refer to appropriate services
    • treat complications or refer to appropriate caregiver
    • describe the difference between deinfibulation and reconstructive surgery

Methods: Visual material, checklists, supporting documents and useful links, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.


Module 4: Ethics, Communication and Counselling in the Health Context

Target Group: Module 4 is mainly aimed at doctors, nurses and other professionals working in the health context.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 4 presents key issues and techniques required for effective communication with and support of young girls and women who have undergone or are at risk of FGM. Key objectives are to:

    • identify the main communication barriers experienced by women and health professionals
    • understand basic principles and skills required for effective counselling, including FGM-specific advice for professionals
    • explore different ways to identify young women and girls at risk of FGM
    • understand the consequences of the medicalisation of FGM
    • become aware of important issues in current debates around FGM

Methods: Case study, visual material, supporting documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.

Module 5: FGM as Grounds for International Protection

Target Group: Module 5 is a specialised module intended for (but not limited to) asylum case and reviewing-authority officers, asylum support-centre staff, social workers involved in asylum cases and related NGO staff.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 5 discusses FGM as grounds for international protection (asylum) based on a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’. The Module discusses relevant regulations and legislation; outlines key agents of persecution; describes the availability of state protection and reasons for persecution; and explains the issue of internal flight and relocation. Key objectives are to:

    • outline the legal basis for FGM-related claims to asylum under EU and other law
    • establish the concept of state and non-state agents of persecution
    • understand the term ‘well-founded fear of persecution’ in the context of the Geneva Convention
    • underline the significance of EU/EC directives on international protection, in particular on qualification (EU Directive 2011/95/EU-recast) and reception conditions (EC Directive 2003/9/EC and EU Directive 2013/33/EU)
    • establish what is ‘relevant’ and ‘reasonable’ in considering the option of internal flight or relocation

Method: Case study, supporting policy and legal documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.


Module 6: The Asylum Context: Communication and Interview Techniques

Target Group: Asylum professionals

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 6 outlines and discusses communication and interview techniques used in determining refugee status; the skills required to be effective; and guiding principles in assessing credibility in the context of asylum procedures. Key objectives are to:

    • understand guiding principles of refugee status determination (RSD), notably standard of proof and duty to substantiate claims
    • underline the significance of EU Directives on international protection, in particular on qualification (EU Directive 2011/95/EU, recast) and procedures (EU Directive 2013/32/EU, recast)
    • discuss gender-sensitive interviewing and an individualised approach to assessing credibility
    • provide checklists of key steps

Methods: Case study, supporting documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.

Module 7: The Role of the Justice System in the Fight against FGM

Target Group: lawyers, judges, public prosecutors, legal experts

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 7 covers the role of the justice system in the fight against FGM, presenting different legal approaches to ending FGM in various EU states, the use of criminal and child protection law, and legislation on professional secrecy. Key objectives are to:

    • describe the threefold role of the justice system in the fight against FGM
    • understand the difference between specific and general criminal law on FGM, and the advantages and disadvantages of each
    • be aware of the difficulties implementing law against FGM
    • be alert to the role and response of the lawyer, judge or public prosecutor faced with FGM

Methods: Case studies, supporting documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.


Module 8: The Role of the Police in the Fight against FGM

Target Group: Police and other actors in the law-enforcement system

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 8 explains the role of the police in addressing FGM, including how to effectively identify and assist at-risk women and girls, investigate and prosecute cases, and work with other stakeholders (including steps to ensure the best interests of a child). Key objectives are to:

    • recognise that FGM is likely to occur in communities in which police officers work
    • understand the responsibilities and roles of a police officer in eradicating FGM
    • be aware of international legal standards regarding the role of the police in ending FGM
    • understand specific cultural sensitivities associated with FGM

Methods: Case study, supporting documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.

Module 9: How to Advice and Support Survivors of FGM

Target Group: Social workers, counsellors, and staff of local authority social services, health and social care trusts, women’s, youth and children´s homes, and voluntary/independent organisations, including services for refugees and migrants.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 9 module aims to equip professionals to offer FGM survivors advice and support. Key objectives are to:

    • identify relevant national and EU legislation
    • understand the needs of FGM-affected women
    • assess the impact of service delivery
    • provide culture- and gender-sensitive advice on protection measures and support facilities
    • discuss grounds for and risks of prosecution
    • develop professional cooperation across sectors and countries to improve policy and services

Methods: Case study, supporting documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quiz.


Module 10: FGM and Child Protection

Target Group: child-protection officers and social workers, school and university staff, counsellors offering services to migrants or refugees, NGO staff working on children and human rights, integration, education, youth, gender and violence.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 10 discusses different aspects of child protection in the context of FGM. Key objectives are to:

    • gain increased awareness of the law and national policies on FGM
    • understand different initiatives to prevent FGM and tools for protection
    • know how to identify and safeguard at-risk girls
    • strengthen decision-making skills
    • improve knowledge of how to support and advise underage survivors of FGM
    • strengthen knowledge of obligation and duties to report cases of FGM
    • identify actors involved in child protection and appropriate forms of cooperationappreciate challenges and possible outcomes of prosecution

Methods: Case study, supporting documents, useful links, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quizzes.

Module 11: The Role of the Education Sector in Preventing FGM

Target Group: Schools and education staff working directly with young people, local authority professionals responsible for safeguarding and working with schools.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 11 explores the role of the education sector in preventing FGM and protecting at-risk girls, supporting girls who have undergone FGM and facilitating attitudinal change among young people and the wider community. Key objectives are to:

    • understand the impact of FGM on girls and young women and the safeguarding responsibilities of education-sector professionals
    • improve confidence and ability to respond appropriately to girls at risk of and affected by FGM
    • gain knowledge of good practice in responding effectively and sensitively to FGM in a school setting
    • strengthen ability to overcome obstacles to addressing FGM in a school setting
    • understand the role of the education sector as part of a wider strategic response to FGM at local and national levels

Methods: Case study, supporting documents, useful links, audio-visual material, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quizzes.


Module 12: Community-based Approaches to Responding to FGM

Target Group: staff from local authorities, NGOs and community/migrant/refugee centres working with FGM-affected communities, statutory professionals from the police, health, education, child-protection and social services sectors.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 12 highlights the variety of approaches required to engage different diaspora communities, identifying possible strategies to reach out to community stakeholders, including women, men, young people and community leaders, to effect sustainable change. Key objectives are to:

    • understand social norms surrounding FGM
    • be aware of the role of community actors in achieving sustainable behavioural change
    • explore policy contexts and standards of effective community engagement
    • identify strategies to engage key community actors in a national programme of response to FGM
    • enhance skills required to engage with communities
    • understand good practice in community-based prevention interventions

Methods: examples of good practice, supporting documents, useful links, audio-visual material, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quizzes.

Module 13: Elective

To proceed with Stream 6: FGM and Media Reporting, please select any of the following modules available Module 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and continue to complete Module 14.”


Module 14: Communicating and Reporting about FGM

Target Group: journalists, documentary filmmakers, communications professionals, students and others seeking to communicate about FGM without stigmatising survivors, affected communities and those at risk.

Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek

Objectives: Module 13 sets out to equip those communicating about FGM and issues of gender-based violence with the tools and language to do so confidently, clearly, ethically and in line with the principle of ‘do no harm’. Key objectives are to:

    • learn appropriate terms in communicating about FGM, survivors and affected communities
    • understand ways the media can affect public awareness of FGM
    • recognise the stigma/trauma particular words or images may cause FGM survivors and affected communities
    • frame FGM as a violation of human rights

Methods: examples of good practice, supporting documents, useful links, audio-visual material, checklists, additional reading, self-assessment quizzes.