Blog posts from our network of grassroots activists and research academics
Parliament in the UK is undoubtedly living through an era of unprecedented turmoil as MPs remain embroiled in Brexit rows, regional divisions over COVID-19 lockdown plans and free school meals for children. However, amidst all the noise, focus on eradicating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) has become lost, despite its alarming uptick.
Guest Blog by Maryam Sheikh for International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM 2020
I am a survivor of FGM, cut at the age of 6 and the worst form of FGM (type 3). As a Somali girl, I grew up knowing every Muslim girl is cut and that my community did ‘a bad type’ because of our culture.
Guest blog by Zahra from SIMAHO
As an ancient tribal tradition, FGM has been adopted by many countries, particularly in Africa. It is wrongly believed to be a religious requirement and done to “protect” girls. Also, it is believed to prevent excessive clitoral growth and preserve virginity to ensure marriageability. Therefore, it has highly affected many village girls in Kenya with levels highest among Somali and Muslim women. From the age of six and up to teenage years, girls have forcibly undergone FGM. This action is a five-level effect; childhood, girlhood, marriage and sexual intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth, and later life.
Guest Blog by ZamZam Jama, Youth Anti FGM Somaliland
FGM/C is a traditional practice in which part of or the entire external female genitalia is removed. Some communities refer to it as female circumcision (FC). The severe effects of FGM/FGC on the health of girls and women have been widely documented. FGM/FGC results in complications at birth for both mother and child, sometimes leading to death. The practice has strong repercussions on the health of women and on the social, political and economic fabric at individual and community levels.
Guest blog by Valerian Mganiis, an anti-FGM campaigner from Tanzania and a member of Arukah Network.
FGM is engrained in our culture. Where I live and work, it is believed to be an order from the spirit. The belief goes like this: if a girl has not been cut, then she cannot be accepted in the community. But once she has been cut, she is ready for child marriage, she can be taken out of school, and she can get pregnant at a young age. And so FGM does not just cut a girl’s body, it cuts short her life prospects too. It is at the root of all sorts of social problems that hold back women.
Guest blog by Chantalle Okondo, Assistant Program Officer with Population Council.
The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) brings awareness of the need to globally eradicate FGM/C. However, it can be difficult to ensure that no girl or women is left behind on a local level. This could not be truer when it comes to West Pokot County on the western side of Kenya, where FGM/C is nearly universal (85 - 94%)1, 2 despite the practice being outlawed by the National Government.
Guest Blog by Mama Sylla, FGM survivor and Chairwoman of la Fraternite Guineenne.
I grew up in a society where I had been led to believe that FGM/C was normal and justified. In Guinea the practice of FGM is still widespread and the belief is that a girl has to undergo FGM in order to be accepted later as an accomplished woman.
Guest Blog by Hope Gloria Mugambi Mwanyuma, Founder: Hope Alive Africa Initiative: A safe space for girls is a place where women and girls can go to at any time to feel safer and empowered and have access to information, education, recreational activities, support and services.
Guest Blog by Mohammed Gaber: FGM in Yemen is distributed throughout the country but predominates in four main cities; Aden, Al-Hodiedah, Al-Mhrah, and Hadramout. In 2001, the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and Population (YMoPHP) enacted a decree to ban public and private health facilities from performing FGM. However, some facilities still carry out the practice.
Guest Blog from Richard A. Powell, Mohamed Yussuf, and Bettina Shell-Duncan, Population Council “Evidence to End FGM/C” For decades female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) has been debated in dozens of countries around the world. But it is in Somaliland, in the Horn of Africa, where a recent fatwa, or religious edict, has rekindled a passionate debate of ‘zero tolerance’ versus ‘acceptable harm minimization’