Honor our bodies, Educate our community, Respect our heritage aims to provide education and facilitate conversations with clinical and immigrant communities about FGM/C and it’s impact women.

The HER Initiative is a community-led and controlled Initiative, built on the belief that through education and dialogue, myths surrounding FGM/C will be dispelled, culturally and linguistically appropriate care increased, and relationships strengthened.

In the first year of the HER Initiative, Partnerships For Health facilitated a community-driven evaluation on FGM/C-related knowledge, attitudes and perceptions. This included making members of the community an integral part of the evaluation team, and using their knowledge, expertise, input, and feedback to guide all evaluation stages. The result was one of the largest response rates nationally.

Across the United States, the HER Initiative has contributed to the conversation formally through participation in the Office on Women’s Health grantee meetings, US CDC Division of Reproductive Health, US Conference on African Immigrant Health, American Evaluation Association, American Public Health Association, Eastern Evaluation Research Society. Informally, the HER Initiative has shared resources, experience and perspective nationally with pediatricians, law enforcement, community agencies, and researchers.

Funding for the HER Initiative is provided by the Female Genital Cutting (FGC) Community-Centered Care and Prevention Grant no. WH-AST-16-002 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.

The work would not have been possible without the support of Maine community members, clinical providers, and statewide agencies.

View the report here