The continuing fight to end FGM


6 March 2016

Campaign update by Anna Sørensen.

How one feminist organisation eliminated FGM in Israel 20 years ago

“The fight against female genital mutilation among these Bedouin tribes was one of Al-Fanar’s most important struggles.”
- 972 Magazine

A group of Palestinian women came together in the early 90s and formed the organisation Al-Fanar, who fought to end FGM in Bedouin tribes in Israel. By going public about the details around female genital mutilation, Al-Fanar managed to get both the authorities and the Arab leadership on board in pressuring the Bedouin tribes to end the practice.

Read the full article. 

Youth For Change joins young woman in new campaign aimed at UK schools

“FGM and child marriage are universal issues and are not limited to any country, race or religion. If the government really want to break this cycle, they need to reach out and protect young people.”
- Fatima Awil at Youth For Change

The campaign expresses concerns about the fact that young survivors are suffering in silence and suggests that school staff in the UK could play a key role in providing support and preventing cases of FGM from happening.

Learn more about the #TrainToProtect campaign and please sign the petition.

Maasai Cricket Warriors’ advocacy against FGM continues to gain international attention

“Through cricket, Ngais has saved his youngest sister, Eunice, and other girls from a similar fate [FGM] and allowed them to continue their education.”
- Wisden India reporter Nisha Shetty about Sonyanga Ole Ngais, captain of Maasai Cricket Warriors

Wisden India has published an in-depth article about the Maasai Cricket Warriors, including their achievements so far, future plans in fighting for equality for women and an interview with the team’s captain, Sonyanga Ole Ngais.

Read the full article.

FGM rates in Iraqi Kurdistan drops as campaigners raise awareness

"When I was a little girl it would have been very good for me if someone had educated my mother and told her not to circumcise me."
- Rasul

Between 41 and 73 percent of Kurdish women have been mutilated and though the practice is declining, young girls are still at risk of being subjected to FGM.

Rasul is a local survivor who fights to end FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan. She has visited over 400 villages in Irbil governorate over the past two years to convince villagers to stop the practice.

Learn more about Rasul and the prevalence of FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan here.

Two cases of FGM protection orders given to two children in the UK this week

The wife of a London-based diplomat from West Africa raised concerns that their daughter could be taken abroad by family members to undergo FGM. Southwark Council applied for an FGM protection order, which was given at a hearing at the family division of the royal courts of justice on Monday.

The day after another FGM protection order was issued to a baby in Staffordshire on a request from the Council. The baby girl’s mother, who comes from south-east Asia, was made aware that FGM is illegal in England after she asked for the procedure at a medical appointment.

An FGM protection order is designed to safeguard young girls at risk of the practice.

Read more via The Guardian and BBC News who reported on these cases.

West Sussex County Council with a zero tolerance approach to FGM

All 71 members of the Council signed a charter that opposes all forms of female genital mutilation last Friday. West Sussex County Council sees FGM as a violation of human rights and will not tolerate the practice in the county.

Read the full article here.

Tanzanian survivor who nearly died from FGM now runs safe home for girls escaping the practice

"The government should support the police's gender desks as well as facilitating trainings on gender issues to different communities to end the vice.''
- Robhi Samwelly

Rhobi Samwelly was subjected to FGM by her own parents almost 30 years ago and was left unconscious for four hours after the procedure. She recently told her story before the National Forum for Zero Tolerance against FGM. Robhi’s own experiences with FGM inspired her to open a safe home, which between 2015 and early 2016 welcomed 190 girls escaping the practice.

Read The Daily Mail report on Rhobi and her story.

Former cutter expresses her regret after learning the consequences of FGM

“By surrendering and repenting to my God, I believe everybody has forgiven me for the sin I did when I was out of my mind.’’
- Mariana Ndama

Mariana Ndama, 71, performed FGM on more than 2,000 girls, including her own daughter, in her 30 years as practiser of the procedure. Back then she was paid 2,000 Tanzanian shillings a day, but money and fame meant nothing to her as soon as she learned the realities of female genital mutilation. Today she’s an anti-FGM activist in Singida Region, which is in the top five regions for FGM prevalence in Tanzania.

Learn more about Ms Ndama and her change for the better here.

 

28 Too Many volunteer Anna Sørensen is studying journalism at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Anna writes weekly blogs which report on progress in the campaign to end FGM in the UK and internationally.

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