Project aim and objectives

The overarching goal of Caught Between Two Cultures is to prevent the practice of FGM/C among young African women in Melbourne’s western region. The project has three key objectives:

  1. To empower young African women to make informed decisions regarding their own sexual and reproductive health
  2. To develop young African women’s confidence, independence, leadership skills and pride in their African and Australian identity
  3. To promote attitudes and behaviours among young women that support and promote the elimination of FGM/C for future generations of African Australian young girls

The evaluation measures the project objectives, as well as medium- to long-term outcomes. These objectives are:

  • To work collaboratively with young African women to develop and enhance their confidence, independence, leadership skills and pride in their African and Australian identity, which is likely to increase civic and economic participation
  • To build capacity, knowledge and skills development of young African women to make safe and positive sexual and reproductive health decisions for themselves and their children
  • To increase participants’ attitudes and behaviours that support and promote the elimination of FGM/C


A mixed methods research design with qualitative and quantitative methods is used to ensure that rich and meaningful data is collected. The evaluation methodology for this project includes:

Pre- and post-project participant questionnaires

These questionnaires (completed at the beginning and end of the seven day program) are specifically designed to measure a change in attitudes, knowledge and level of support for the eradication of FGM/C, as well as other sexual and reproductive health topics. Demographic data is also collected to determine if young women are from FGM/C-practicing communities. The questionnaires do not ask young women about their personal experiences of sexual and reproductive health, including FGM/C. You can access evaluation tools in the program manual.

Survey questionnaires following each session delivery

The aim of the post-session survey it to measure knowledge retention and content satisfaction relating to specific sessions.

Reflective focus groups with young African women and partner agencies

A reflective focus group in the final session of the program provides additional feedback and qualitative data to strengthen the other forms of data collected throughout the program. Participants discuss the components of the program they enjoyed, what surprised them, and any aspirations that they now have post-program.

A separate reflective discussion is had with partner agencies to assess the success of the program and to discuss future considerations for the program based on their experiences.