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Obstetrics and Gynecology International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 324362, 12 pages
Research Article

The Applicability of Behaviour Change in Intervention Programmes Targeted at Ending Female Genital Mutilation in the EU: Integrating Social Cognitive and Community Level Approaches

Faculty of Business, Environment and Society, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK

Received 29 March 2013; Accepted 15 June 2013

Academic Editor: Birgitta Essen

Copyright © 2013 Katherine Brown et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With increased migration, female genital mutilation (FGM) also referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting is no longer restricted to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The European Parliament estimates that up to half a million women living in the EU have been subjected to FGM, with a further 180,000 at risk. Aware of the limited success of campaigns addressing FGM, the World Health Organization recommended a behavioural change approach be implemented in order to end FGM. To date, however, little progress has been made in adopting a behaviour change approach in strategies aimed at ending FGM. Based on research undertaken as part of the EU’s Daphne III programme, which researched FGM intervention programmes linked to African communities in the EU (REPLACE), this paper argues that behaviour change has not been implemented due to a lack of understanding relating to the application of the two broad categories of behaviour change approach: individualistic decision-theoretic and community-change game-theoretic approaches, and how they may be integrated to aid our understanding and the development of future intervention strategies. We therefore discuss how these can be integrated and implemented using community-based participatory action research methods with affected communities.