Cuso International to develop program to fight against gender-based violence and female genital mutilation in northern Benin




Ottawa – February 6, 2018  – Minister Bibeau announced today that Global Affairs Canada will provide $3 million in funding over three years to Cuso International for the development and implementation of a program to help fight against gender-based violence and female genital mutilation (FGM) in northern Benin.

The project is a partnership between Cuso International, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Benin Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Affairs, as well as with local implementing partners, Equi-Filles and APEM, both of whom are leading feminist organizations in Benin. The project is expected to support 57,000 young girls, as well as female survivors of sexual violence, leaders from civil society, and health and education professionals. It will be implemented between 2018 and 2021 and will see four volunteers provide support to implementing partners in organizational and community development and communications and public relations.

The issues of gender-based violence and female genital mutilation are widespread with FGM affecting over 200 million girls and women in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, according to the World Health Organization. The goal of the project will be to transform social and cultural norms by proposing alternative models to traditional rites of passage. Through leadership workshops and trainings, awareness campaigns and providing technical assistance, Cuso International and its volunteers will help decrease the frequency of gender-based violence and female genital mutilation.

Improving outcomes for women and girls has been at the heart of Cuso International’s work for over 55 years. “Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy is on display in Cuso International’s work,” says Cuso International CEO, Glenn Mifflin. “Our focus is, and has been, on supporting women and girls overcome obstacles to leading healthy and equitable lives. With this support from the Government of Canada, Cuso International will be able to help change the story on gender-based violence and female genital mutilation for thousands of girls and women in northern Benin.”


About Cuso International

Cuso International is a non-profit international development organization that works to improve the lives of people living with poverty and inequality around the globe. Each year we mobilize hundreds of volunteer professionals who work with local partners to create positive lasting change. Established in 1961, Cuso International is a registered charity in Canada and the United States.


For more information contact:

Jen Buter
Communications Officer
613-829-7445 x 244