The Youth Say No to FGM

Tribute to Florence

UNGA Resolution on FGM Advocacy by IAC

The Inter-African Committee on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children (IAC) is an African regional umbrella body that has been working on policy programmes and actions to eliminate female genital mutilation, child marriage and other harmful traditional practices and to promote the positive ones in the African Region for the last 30 years. It was formed on February 6, 1984 by African delegates to a seminar organised by a United Nations NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices based in Geneva, with the support of UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the Government of Senegal. It was formed at a time when female genital mutilation was highly controversial and a ‘sensitive’ issue for discussion. There was a critical need for an African regional voice in an international campaign against FGM, which led to the establishment of the Inter-African Committee.  

The vision of IAC is an African region free of female genital mutilation and gender related harmful practices.

 Its two main objectives are to:

  • Prevent and eliminate traditional practices that are harmful to or impede the health, human development and rights of women and girls and advocate for care and support for those who suffer the health consequences of harmful practices;
  • Promote and support those traditional practices that improve and contribute to the health, human development and rights of women and children.

The headquarters of IAC is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where it is registered as a non-profit organisation and it has a liaison office in Geneva. The IAC has national chapters, referred to as national committees, in 29 African countries. The IAC links to African population groups in the diaspora through its many affiliates throughout the world (Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Japan).

    The Inter-African Committee enjoys consultative status with the United Nations (UN/ECOSOC) and holds an observer status with the African Union (AU). It works in partnership with UNFPA, WHO and UNICEF and is a member of the NGO network affiliated to the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The IAC collaborates with several international organisations active in the field of the protection of women’s and children’s human rights. The IAC has a collaboration strategy on harmful traditional practices with the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

     The IAC is organised as follows:

  • A General Assembly which consists of all the national committees and affiliates;
  • The Executive Board (consisting of members from 5 African countries and 7 zone coordinators elected by the General Assembly);
  • The Executive Direction (secretariat) that includes all technical staff in Addis Ababa and Geneva;
  • National committees and affiliates
  • The Inter-African Committee has also established a scientific committee to:
    • give scientific support to activities, projects and programmes;
    • make scientific analysis of results; failures and successes;
    • provide scientific support in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of activities;
    • carry out operational and fundamental research on HTPs/FGM.

 The IAC has created various networks including regional and national networks of religious leaders, parliamentarians, media professionals, health professionals and youth.

 Thousands of volunteers are participating in the work of IAC in all the countries in Africa and around the world. 

The IAC major achievements are:

  • Demystification of female genital mutilation
  • Inclusion of female genital mutilation in the programmes of Governments and regional and international organisations;
  • Mobilization of African communities, e.g. the public laying down of the excision knives by excisers in several countries: Benin, Chad, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo…
  • Involvement of various socio-professional groups, i.e. creation of networks of religious leaders, youth, media professionals, health professionals and parliamentarians;
  • Creation of alternative income-generating activities for former excisers;
  • Assistance to victims of female genital mutilation;
  • Participation in the conception and adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, on the Rights of Women;
  • Proposition and advocacy resulting in the adoption of February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM
  • Proposition and advocacy resulting of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the elimination of FGM (A/RES/67/146)

Madame Chantal Compaoré, the Former First Lady of Burkina Faso and Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-African Committee, has made tremendous efforts in Africa and around the world advocating especially to the Heads of State, governments, international institutions, other development partners and communities against FGM.

Since 2000, the Inter-African Committee initiated the creation by young people from its 29 member countries, an African Regional Network of Youth for the elimination of female genital mutilation (FGM). The second forum of this network was held in November 2006, in Addis Ababa, and it resulted in the formulation of a youth programme for both national and regional levels.

The Inter-African Committee was awarded by UNFPA with the prestigious United Nations Population Award in 1995.

From the democratic and transparent election during the last General Assembly in April 2014 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the current following Board members have been elected for 5 years:

  1. Mrs. Mariam Lamizana (Burkina Faso)............President
  2. Mrs. Eunice Maasodong (Ghana)....................Vice-President
  3. Mrs. Hawa Djama Idleh (Djibouti).....................Vice-President
  4. Mrs. Assibi Napoe (Togo).................................Secretary General
  5. Mrs. Fatumata Djau Balde (Guinea Bissau).....Treasurer
  6. Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté (Guinea)...................Executive Director
  7. Ms. Theresa Ehiaghe Omofuma (Nigeria).......Coordinator Zone 1
  8. Mr. Sibiri Coulibaly (Côte d'Ivoire)...................Coordinator Zone 2
  9. Mrs. Magatte Sy Gaye (Senegal)....................Coordinator Zone 3
  10. Mrs. Effiom Comfort (Cameroon).....................Coordinator Zone 4
  11. Mrs. Shamso Said (Somalia)............................Coordinator Zone 5
  12. Mr. Sande Geofrey (Uganda)...........................Coordinator Zone 6
  13. Dre. Aoua Bocar Ly-Tall (Canada).... ...............Coordinator America Zone
  14. Japan................................................Coordinator Middle East-Asia Zone
  15. Mrs. Zahra Naleie (The Netherlands).....Coordinator Europe Zone




1986 - The IAC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) signed a protocol of agreement on cooperation and assistance
1990 - The IAC Addis Ababa office was inaugurated as the Headquarters.
1993 - The IAC was granted consultative Status Category II by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
1994 - The IAC was accorded Observer Status by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now known as African Union (AU)
1995 - The IAC was granted official Status by the World Health Organization (WHO)
2000 - Letter of Agreement between UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, IAC
2009- Memorandum of Understanding with IOM

2013- Collaboration strategy between the IAC, the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNICEF, UNFPA and ACERWC



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Beautiful celebration of the International Day of the Girl 2016


In Lusaka, Zambia, this October 11, 2016, we celebrated the International Day of the Girl in the best way. Organized by the African Union, the workshop to evaluate progress of the African Union campaign to end child marriage was a great event supported by the Government of Zambia.


Identified as trainer of the member countries of the African Union on practices affecting the health of women and children, the Inter-African Committee, which I represent in this forum received the congratulations of the African Union.


This workshop which brings together national delegates, African civil society and development partners is a major step forward in the implementation of the African campaign to end child marriage.





An African society in which african women and children fully enjoy they human rights to live free from harmful traditional practices.



To promote gender equality and contribute to the improvement of the health status, social, economic, political, human rights and quality of life of African women and children through elimination of harmful traditional practices and the promotion of beneficial ones.

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