Community-based organisations: organisations consisting of members of a community who try to address the social, educational or environmental  needs of their community.

Perineal tear: trauma of greater or lesser severity to the perineum (generally defined in females as the surface region between the vagina and the rectum) during vaginal childbirth.

Deinfibulation or defibulation: cutting open the scar tissue that has formed around the vaginal opening (after appositioning or fusing/stictching the labia majora) to allow for sexual intercourse or the birth of a child.  Deinfibulation may enable to free the urinary meatus and regain normal urination.

Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora of the vulva, with or without excision of the labia majora.

‘Femmes relais’: female local-level players in risk communities who have received special FGM training (GAMS Belgique, CL-MGF) . They do awareness-raising and prevention work in their communities and mediate with families in risk situations (holiday in the country of origin).

Fistula: an abnormal passageway between two organs in the body or between an organ and the exterior of the body, generally a disease condition. There are two types of genital fistulas: fistulas between the rectum and the vagina (rectovaginal) or between the bladder and the vagina (vesicovaginal). Among other causes, they can develop as a result of prolonged and difficult labor.

Incidence: the number of new cases of a condition within a specified population and within a specified period of time (generally, one year).

Incontinence: involuntary excretion of urine (urinary incontinence) or bowel contents (fecal incontinence).

Urinary, genital or pelvic infection: abnormal proliferation of infectious agents (including  bacteria) in the urinary system (including kidneys, bladder and urethra), the genital system and the pelvic region (greater pelvis and lesser pelvis) respectively.

Sexually transmitted infection: infectious disease transmitted between persons during different forms of sexual intercourse (oral, vaginal or anal).

Infibulation: appositioning and fusing/sewing of the labia majora, with or without removal of the clitoris, leaving a small hole for the passage of urine and menstrual blood.

Interpreters: interpreters provide complete and exact oral translation of speech between users of different languages.

Community leaders: community members with a certain influence (heads of women’s organisations, persons in charge of group saving and microcredit schemes, religious leaders, etc.). One can be an actor in a community, i.e. be part of a change process, without necessarily being a leader.

Intercultural mediator: intercultural mediators provide liaison interpreting, which is a mode of interpretation where the interpreter enables fluid communication between two parties. The cultural mediator builds bridges between cultures and explains respective cultural codes for a better understanding of each other’s behaviours (‘cultural decoding’). Mediators are generally members of the community for which they mediate.

Female sexual mutilation/female genital mutilation: comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (World Health Organization, 1997).

Obstetrics: the medical specialty dealing with the study and care of pregnancy and childbirth.

Reference persons in specialised organisations: professionals in organisations specialised in FGM (GAMS, INTACT, CL-MGF) who are responsible for advising and  guiding professionals in the field (generalist organisations) in acute situations or confronted with specific difficulties.

Prevalence: number of persons in a given population found to have a certain condition at a given point in time.

Professional contact persons in generalist organisations (hospitals, ONE, PSE, etc.): professionals formed by the specialised organisations (GAMS, INTACT, CL -MGF), who function as reference persons for FGM within their organisation. They are:

  • the primary contact persons for their colleagues who have questions about FGM and best practices in this regard
  • the primary reference persons with regard to the care of children or women impacted by FGM (risk situations and actual cases)
  • responsible for networking with the specialised organisations (participation in concertation committees, distribution of awareness-raising tools, etc.)

Reconstruction of the clitoris: surgery with the aim to reconstruct a normal-looking, correctly positioned and sensitive clitoris by exposing the stump of the clitoris which is covered by scar tissue.

Reinfibulation or refibulation: new fusing/stitching of the labia majora of the vulva after previously opening the scar tissue for deinfibulation. Reinfibulation is practised most often after childbirth, as well as after remarriage (e.g., a remarried widow) or after the spontaneous opening of the first infibulation (e.g., due to a poorly healing wound).

Fetal distress and fetal death: a change in the vital functions of the foetus (lack of weight gain, slowing of heartrate, decreased movement). A difference is made between chronical distress during pregnancy, characterised by fetal growth restriction, and acute distress, characterised by a slowing heartrate. Both chronical and acute distress may result in the death of the foetus (in utero) if no measures are taken (rest, medical treatment, Ceasarian section, etc.).

Permanent residency: legal status allowing a person to reside indefinitely within a country of which he or she is not a citizen, and enabling him or her to apply for full or partial employment and social benefits. 

Residence permit: card delivered to a foreigner of at least 12 years of age who has obtained the right or has been allowed to reside in Belgium on a temporary or definitive basis.