NY Times columnist, Judith Warner highlights Tostan’s unique approach.
New York, NY, October 1, 2009 – Judith Warner of the New York Times wrote of the ‘Molly Melching – Tostan’ approach to female genital cutting (FGC) that it is a “truly radical — and, as it turns out, effective — vision of change.”
The article goes to some length to describe and praise the methodology Tostan employs to facilitate positive social transformation in eight countries across Africa. Warner emphasizes the ‘respectful’ nature of the Tostan approach – noting that it aims to reach people by first acknowledging social norms, beliefs and practices; finding common ground and then together building on shared aspirations such as for safety, for dignity and for a better life for one’s children. It is only by building this common ground and relationship that Tostan can empower communities to identify social practices, such as FGC and child/forced marriage, that are out of line with communities’ common aspirations.
Warner suggests that this model, which has succeeded where many others has failed, could prove ‘pretty powerful’ in America if put to work on divisive social issues such as abortion and health care reform. Warner also argues that it is the ‘farthest thing possible’ from the relentless ‘vilification tactics’ employed by Michael Moore in his new film “Capitalism,” which she dubs “the shame game.”
To read the full article, click here or visit the NY Times website.