Legislation plays a crucial role in defining and sustaining social and gender norms by clearly establishing a country’s national priorities and setting aside resources for their implementation. Laws and policies have the potential to lead to largescale changes in addressing social norms and institutional cultures that continue to perpetuate inequalities and violence against women and girls such as the practice of FGM. To achieve this and be most effective, laws and policies should be gender transformative to ensure they do not reinforce negative societal values and norms. However, policies and laws alone cannot effect long-term and sustained change. While they are an integral first step, they must be followed up by effective implementation.
This Scorecard provides an assessment of national laws and policies in five (5) countries i.e Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda which are part of the MEA Alliance and also fall under the UNICEF/UNFPA Spotlight Initiative on addressing FGM to establish whether or not they outlaw the practice of FGM; and whether or not such laws and policies promote the engagement of men and boys to address harmful social, cultural and gender norms and practices that perpetuate the practice of FGM.