Hogan Lovells teams up with TackleAfrica and Coaching for Hope, using the power and passion of football to "Stop FGM"

London, 29 January – As part of its ongoing commitment to empowering girls and women around the world, Hogan Lovells has partnered with TackleAfrica and Coaching for Hope to write, translate, and publish a new booklet aimed at stopping Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Burkina Faso.

“Stop FGM” will be launched at a celebratory event hosted by Hogan Lovells in London this evening, where speakers include Hogan Lovells partner Elaine Penrose, Jane Carter, Head of Partnership Development with Coaching for Hope, Ann-Marie Wilson, Executive Director of 28 Too Many, and Simone Pound, Head of Equalities at the Professional Football Association.

Coaching for Hope is an NGO which uses sport, in particular football, as a tool for education and development in various African countries. Tackling FGM, a devastating practice that is still commonplace in some parts of Africa, is one of its most important healthcare initiatives.

Hogan Lovells supports several of its projects as part of its global pro bono work and empowering girls and women initiative, providing free legal advice, financing and the development of new teaching materials with legal and human rights content. As a part of the firm’s commitment to Coaching for Hope, Hogan Lovells lawyers helped to produce the publication, “Stop FGM”, which has been translated and printed in French and several local Burkina languages.

Coaching for Hope plans to use the booklet in the five schools where their football coaches are currently running weekly sessions with students, and will also use it in focus group discussions with the parents and carers of the children. Copies will also be made available to a local NGO which works to prevent the terrible damage done to women and girls by FGM.

The “Stop FGM” publication and the continuing support of Hogan Lovells will help Coaching for Hope and TackleAfrica to extend outreach work, particularly in more rural areas where the practice of FGM has proved more difficult to eradicate. The hope is that, in a part of the world where books are still few and far between, it will play an important role in getting a powerful message against FGM to hard-to-reach places.

Hogan Lovells partner Elaine Penrose, who worked on the booklet, commented:

"Coaching for Hope is a fantastic NGO that trains local teachers, sport coaches and young leaders on methods to educate on issues such as AIDS, girls' rights and sexual health through sport. Upon listening to the experiences of a group of women we  met in Burkina Faso who had been excised and who shared with us their commitment to the extinction of FGM, I am in no doubt of the important role we have to play and positive impact it has on empowering girls and women."

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