Hanze University of Applied Sciences (Hanze Hogeschool) is the largest knowledge institute in the northern part of the Netherlands, offering various Bachelor's and Master programmes in multiple languages. This technical & vocational institution is known for its personal approach to education and its combined theoretical and practical approach to programmes.
‘Child Abuse and Domestic Violence’ is a 7-week course offered to students from various schools of Hanze University, including nursing, physiotherapy, social studies, health care studies, applied psychology. The course coordinator invited Dr. Annemarie to be a guest lecturer on the topic of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting.
Dr. Annemarie joined forces with FGM/C activist Istahil Abdulahi. Together, they addressed the different forms of FGM/C, its countries of origin, the prevalence of the practice in the Netherlands, the laws and existing protocols, and the various ways of identifying and preventing it. In addition, Istahil shared her personal experiences as a survivor of FGM/C and the impact it had on her live. The session was very interactive, allowing students to share their ideas and ask questions.
Teaching the new generation of professionals who will encounter and possibly support FGM/C survivors at some point in their careers is always a rewarding experience. We believe that giving students a more comprehensive understanding of the practice is crucial, and allowing them to take the survivor’s experience and perspective at heart even more so. It is a way to instigate the emotional intelligence required to provide the assistance women with FGM/C will need, and to help them learn to identify risk situations more efficiently. Students were impressed and touched by the courage of Istahil and asked her many questions. After our first lecture, the University invited them to repeat their lecture multiple times, and, since 2020, it has become a regular event in the programme.