Campaign update by Anna Sørensen.
Mali’s shifting attitude towards FGM
In a recent The Guardian article, 28 Too Many’s researcher Gemma Locke suggests that ending female genital mutilation in Mali must be a Malian-led initiative. She said: “It has to be Malian to Malian, that has to be within the community, within the family, and beyond… ownership has to be with indigenous people, because if it’s not owned, it won’t keep. It’s not going to be sustainable.”
Despite support for the practice from locals, there has been a shift in Mali’s attitude towards FGM. Television announcements, billboards and public proclamation with information on the dangers of the practice seek to convince parents to spare their girls.
Read more about the anti-FGM campaign in Mali here.
Learn more about FGM in Mali in 28 Too Many's country profile report. Kenyan DCC fights for girls’ rights to education
Kenyan DCC fights for girls’ rights to education
"It is a constitutional right for girls to be allowed to pursue education without interruption whatsoever.”
- Benjamin Nzioka
Deputy County Commissioner Benjamin Nzioka is working with stakeholders to eliminate female genital mutilation from Igembe North in Meru County, Kenya. Women in the area are assisting girls to undergo FGM or forcing them into the practice. FGM is illegal in Kenya and Nzioka says stern action will be taken against those mutilating young girls or marrying them before they complete their education.
Learn more here
German filmmaker releases educating documentary on FGM in Burkina Faso
Meet Johanna Richter, a Cultural Studies graduate who learnt the realities of female genital mutilation during a field trip to the northwest African country Burkina Faso, where the practice has been illegal since 1996. Richter made a film for sensitisation on FGM as a part of her PhD research at Free University in Berlin. The film "L'excision—un theme pour tout le monde”, which means "Female Genital Mutilation: A West African View for Everyone”, premiered with English subtitles in March and is now being used by local NGOs in Burkina Faso to stimulate debate and conversation in areas where FGM is being practiced. It will also be screening at an Amnesty International discussion on women’s rights in France later this year.
Watch the trailer for "L'excision—un theme pour tout le monde” here
Gender specialist speaks about FGM in Nigeria
“We need to go down to the communities and get community consensus to stop the behaviour that promotes FGM.”
- Nkiru Igbelina-Igbokwe
Nkiru Igbelina-Igbokwe is a gender specialist with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She believes working with communities where female genital mutilation is being practiced is the key to eliminate the practice. Read AllAfrica.com’s interview with her on the prevalence of FGM in Nigeria and why the practice must stop.
British survivor and anti-FGM campaigner releases her memoir “Cut”
“When I started talking about it, the community thought I was a traitor. My argument was: I love my culture, but this was an evil part of it and they all know it. They chose not to discuss it; I chose not to ignore it.”
- Hibo Wardere
Hibo Wardere’s powerful book “Cut” was finally released this week. The book tells Hibo’s story about how she went from surviving female genital mutilation in Somalia as a six-year-old to becoming one of Britain’s most important anti-FGM campaigners. Regarding the book’s release, Hibo has given interviews to Thomas Reuter’s Foundation and The Guardian, which can be read here and here.
Hibo Wardere’s “Cut” can be purchased here.
Irish survivor and anti-FGM campaigner tells her story
“Ireland is home, but I have to change Somalia.”
- Ifrah Ahmed
Get to know Ifrah Ahmed better in Irish Independent’s recent interview with the 26-year-old who will be taking up the role of advisor on gender issues to the Somalian Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke. Ahmed came to Ireland as as a Somalian asylum seeker when she was 17, nine years later she is the founder of the Ifrah Foundation and winner of the Humanitarian of the Year at the 2015 Women4Africa awards.
UK Government issues new guidance on FGM
Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation has been released by HM Government to better educate medical professionals about the signs and effects of FGM. This guidance aims to provide information, strategic guidance, and advice and support.
Learn more about the new guidance here (link: http://www.thegoodhealthsuite.co.uk/GP/professional/963-statutory-guidance-on-fgm-issued) and here.
28 Too Many volunteer Anna Sørensen is studying journalism at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Anna’s writes regular blogs which report on progress in the campaign to end FGM in the UK and internationally.