The Midwest Network on Female Genital Cutting (MNFGC) was formed in April 2005 when a group of health professionals, representatives from community organizations, refugee resettlement agencies, and immigration law experts came together over a concern for the needs of African immigrant girls and women affected by or at risk for female genital cutting.
According to 2005 estimates from the African Women’s Center, there are more than 31,000 immigrant women and children in the DHHS Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) at risk for genital cutting. When FGC was outlawed in 1996, a congressional mandate was passed requiring community outreach and education for the affected communities. However, initial outreach efforts have not materialize into a clear national strategy for orienting health, legal, and social service providers to the various aspects of FGC. More importantly, there has been little done to empower immigrant African women to address FCG and other related health concerns when accessing services.
The MNFGC is a dynamic network of organizations and individuals working together to address the impact of FGC in the midwest, aiming to both prevent cutting from occurring and to provide sensitive, culturally competent care for those who have been cut.