Seminar on female genital mutilation (ITM and Gams)
In this seminar, organised by the Institute of Tropical Medicine, An Vercoutere (gynaecologist and obstetrician) and Flore Bollaert (GAMS) will give a background on the different types of female genital mutilation (FGM), and the consequences.
- Date: 24 March 2023, 2pm-5pm
- Location: Aula P.G. Janssens, ITM Educational Campus Rochus, Sint-Rochusstraat 43, 2000 Antwerp
- Language: Dutch
- Accreditation possible with RIZIV number
Participation in this event is free, but registration is required. Register now (Dutch)
Female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to the partial or complete removal of the external genitalia of a girl or woman. FGM is banned in many countries but continues to be practised frequently. Female circumcision has been banned in Belgium in 2001. People or family members who perform or have performed this practice are punishable, even if the procedure is done abroad. Research conducted by GAMS (Group for the Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation) shows that there are about 23,000 women in Belgium who are circumcised and that - without prevention - more than 12,000 underage girls are at risk of being circumcised because their mothers underwent FGM. The study also found that over time Flanders is the most affected region. First-line professionals - such as doctors, obstetricians, social workers - are often important contacts, but do not always have sufficient tools to start the conversation about FGM.
In this seminar, organised by the Institute of Tropical Medicine, An Vercoutere (gynaecologist and obstetrician) and Flore Bollaert (GAMS) will give a background on the different types of FGM, the causes of FGM and its consequences on physical, psychological and sexological levels. Particular attention will be given to the impact of FGM on pregnancy and childbirth. We will discuss disinfibulation and clitoral reconstruction, two procedures women may consider having performed. For healthcare providers, in addition to this more medical part of the seminar, we will also elaborate on ways to discuss FGM with your patients and ways to handle the suspected risk of FGM during a trip.
- An Vercoutere is a gynaecologist and obstetrician at Hôpital Erasme (ULB), where she focuses on high-risk obstetrics and female genital mutilation (FGM). She worked in the West African country of Guinea Conakry, where she gained extensive experience on FGM. An is founder and president of Aniké, a nonprofit organisation that sets up and supports health projects in Guinea Conakry with local partners.
- Flore Bollaert works as interim manager of the Flemish branch of GAMS Belgium. Besides representing GAMS at various levels and overseeing day-to-day activities, she is largely responsible for trainings on the topic of FGM. Prior to joining GAMS, Flore studied the MA African Studies at UGent and worked as a Dutch teacher at Ligo Brusselleer.