I find it important to frequently travel to the field to conduct research and to meet local partners working on girl’s and women’s rights, harmful practices and more specifically Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). I don’t want to study these topics only from my office desk in the Netherlands. On the contrary, to my mind it is fundamental to have the “on-the-ground” / more realistic perspective. For my PhD research, I traveled to Senegal for five months to conduct semi-structured interviews. In total, I interviewed more than 50 experts in the field of FGM/C, including: government officials, international organizations and civil society. Most of my assignments include traveling, either to conduct research, to provide technical assistance, to monitor CSO projects, to evaluate programmes, to meet local partners working on girl’s and women’s rights and to assist UN country offices. 

I love conducting fieldwork and it is very relevant for all aspects of my work. Being in the field always inspires me. I learn a lot and I often come home with new insights and ideas for further research. In addition, it strengthens my teaching too, since I can share with my students the realities of practice versus the theoretical. In December 2016, I traveled to Burkina Faso for an assignment for the UN, where I conducted semi-structured interviews with various stakeholders, including: government officials, police, judges, prosecutors, NGOs and international organizations. In March 2017, I traveled to Senegal for an assignment for Save the Children and in November 2017, I was present at an expert meeting in Kenya. In February 2018, I traveled to Ghana for two weeks for the ‘Outcome Harvesting’ and to monitor projects for the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) for Defence for Children – ECPAT the Netherlands and Plan the Netherlands. In June 2018, I was in Senegal and in July/August 2018 in Liberia and Nigeria for an assignment for UNFPA.

Expert Meeting on FGM/C in Kenya

In November 2017, I was a couple of days in Nairobi for an expert meeting on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). I was invited by Gerry Mackie, who is a well-known associate professor of political science at the University of California (UCSD) in the United States. He specializes in the study...

Fieldwork in Senegal for Save the Children

From the 24th of March until the 2nd of April 2017, I was in Senegal for an assignment for Save the Children. I organized a workshop on the different approaches towards ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting for local implementing partners of the Regional Office of Save the Children. Four implementing partners...

Case study in Burkina Faso

In December 2016, I was in Burkina Faso for a research assignment. The assignment included an analysis of legal frameworks on FGM/C in 12 countries (including Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone). Burkina Faso was selected as a case study,...

Visit to WOmen WAke uP (WOWAP) in Tanzania

The 5th of August 2016, I visited the organization WOmen WAke uP (WOWAP) in Tanzania. I had a meeting with the director, Fatma Hassan Toufiq, who is also a parliamentarian in the current Tanzanian Parliament. We spoke about how Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) could (and should) be addressed in...

My blog in Senegal

From September 2013 until February 2014, I was in Senegal to conduct field research for my PhD. During my field study in Senegal, I wrote weekly about my experiences on my blog. You can find the blog by clicking on the web page below.

Annemarie has great communication skills and knows how to talk to people regardless of their background.
Alina Balta
PhD Candidate, International Victimology Institute Tilburg – Tilburg University