Photo credit: Hyacinth50, Flickr Creative commons

Coming late 2017, Equality Now’s FGM Survivor Stories series will feature diverse firsthand narratives on the impact of female genital mutilation (FGM), and provide readers with related actions they can take to support the global movement to end this human rights abuse. The project amplifies the voices of women and girls who are championing efforts to address FGM in their communities - shedding much needed light on existing challenges, gaps and successes. 

Equality Now has been working with organizations and individuals around the world to end female genital mutilation (FGM) for more than 20 years. Momentum to end FGM in a generation is growing globally and no woman or girl affected by this practice should be left behind, including in countries with low prevalence rates or diaspora communities that are often overlooked. While countries with the highest prevalence rates are on the African continent and in the Middle East, FGM affects women and girls across the globe, in Asia, Australasia, Europe, South America and North America – including the United States. 

In the U.S., over half a million women and girls are estimated to have undergone FGM or to be at risk. The personal testimonies will illustrate the severe physical and psychological consequences of FGM, and challenge the misconception that FGM only affects women and girls in “other countries.” FGM Survivor Stories will support the call on U.S. state and federal officials to prioritize supporting and protecting women and girls who are affected by or at risk of FGM; doctors and social workers to provide appropriate and sensitive care to women and girls affected by FGM; and teachers, school counselors, and other duty bearers to play a role in protecting at risk girls. International human rights law, as well as the new global development framework, requires all countries to eradicate FGM. 

Sneak peak: Read Miatta's Story

Girls should be able to celebrate their culture and heritage, while being protected from violence and human rights abuses such as FGM and child marriage, which often follows FGM. These stories affirm U.S policy and law as well as international human rights principles that female genital mutilation is a form of gender-based violence and a human rights violation.

Equality Now uses the term female genital mutilation (FGM), though sometimes other terms such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), female genital cutting (FGC), and /or female circumcision may be used by survivors and/or other advocates to describe the same practice.

A first look at our upcoming series.

English
Campaign Image: 
Campaign Image - Small: 
Hero Title: 
FGM Survivor Stories
Stand-first: 

Coming late 2017, Equality Now’s FGM Survivor Stories series will feature diverse firsthand narratives on the impact of female genital mutilation (FGM), and provide readers with related actions they can take to support the global movement to end this human rights abuse. The project amplifies the voices of women and girls who are championing efforts to address FGM in their communities - shedding much needed light on existing challenges, gaps and successes. 

Body Top: 

Equality Now has been working with organizations and individuals around the world to end female genital mutilation (FGM) for more than 20 years. Momentum to end FGM in a generation is growing globally and no woman or girl affected by this practice should be left behind, including in countries with low prevalence rates or diaspora communities that are often overlooked. While countries with the highest prevalence rates are on the African continent and in the Middle East, FGM affects women and girls across the globe, in Asia, Australasia, Europe, South America and North America – including the United States. 

In the U.S., over half a million women and girls are estimated to have undergone FGM or to be at risk. The personal testimonies will illustrate the severe physical and psychological consequences of FGM, and challenge the misconception that FGM only affects women and girls in “other countries.” FGM Survivor Stories will support the call on U.S. state and federal officials to prioritize supporting and protecting women and girls who are affected by or at risk of FGM; doctors and social workers to provide appropriate and sensitive care to women and girls affected by FGM; and teachers, school counselors, and other duty bearers to play a role in protecting at risk girls. International human rights law, as well as the new global development framework, requires all countries to eradicate FGM. 

Sneak peak: Read Miatta's Story

Girls should be able to celebrate their culture and heritage, while being protected from violence and human rights abuses such as FGM and child marriage, which often follows FGM. These stories affirm U.S policy and law as well as international human rights principles that female genital mutilation is a form of gender-based violence and a human rights violation.

Equality Now uses the term female genital mutilation (FGM), though sometimes other terms such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), female genital cutting (FGC), and /or female circumcision may be used by survivors and/or other advocates to describe the same practice.

Body Bottom: 

Partners

Equality Now thanks all the women who had the courage to speak out about this practice and share their story. We also thank our partners for their time and participation in the campaign and for their assistance in bringing together women to participate in the project.

Safe Hands for Girls

Safe Hands for Girls was founded by Jaha Dukureh, who was one of the first survivors of FGM Equality Now supported in the U.S., and grew up to become an avid activist for the eradication of FGM. Safe Hands for Girls is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and girls that have gone through FGM or are at risk of going through the practice. The organization primarily works in Clarkson and South West Atlanta in Georgia. Ms. Dukureh was named one of Time magazine’s Top 100 Influential people in 2016 and is working to establish a women’s center in her home country, The Gambia. 

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation was founded on the principles of ending violence and injustices against women and girls. The mission of the organization is to empower women and girls through education to eradicate gender based violence, with special emphasis on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation established the Global Woman Center in the Washington, D.C. Metro area, supporting efforts to prevent FGM and to provide services for survivors and at-risk girls.

Sahiyo

Sahiyo is dedicated to empowering Dawoodi Bohra and other Asian communities to end female genital cutting (FGC) and create positive social change through dialogue, education and collaboration based on community involvement. By working towards an FGC-free world, it aims to recognize and emphasize the values of consent and a child’s/woman’s right over her own body. The organization strives to foster a culture in which female sexuality is not feared or suppressed but embraced as normal. Sahiyo is the Bohra Gujarati word for ‘saheliyo’, or friends, and reflects the organization’s mission to engage in dialogue with the community to find a collective solution towards ending the practice of FGC or khatna.

Network to Address FGM/C in the United States

The Network to Address FGM/C in the United States is a coalition of civil society organizations, activists, survivors, lawyers and medical professionals advocating for the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the United States. 

Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC)

The IAC is an African regional umbrella body that has been working on policy programs and actions to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and other harmful practices and to promote positive ones in the African region for the last 30 years. IAC-USA is the US arm of IAC and has been working since 2012 to address FGM and “vacation cutting” among diaspora in the U.S.

Wallace Global Fund

The Wallace Global Fund (WGF) is a grant-making institution that was established in 1995. The mission of the WGF is to promote an informed and engaged citizenry, to fight injustice and to protect the diversity of nature and the natural systems upon which all life depends. Among the priority themes of WGF is advancing women’s human rights and empowerment, including through promoting the abandonment of female genital mutilation.

Human Dignity Foundation 

Human Dignity Foundation (HDF) is a private, Swiss foundation established in 2004 and governed by a Board of Directors. The foundation is a pro-active grant-making foundation. HDF supports programs that, among other goals, aim to make children safe at home and in their communities and prevent violence against children including harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage.

The Girl Generation: Together To End FGM

The Girl Generation is a social change communications initiative, providing a global platform for galvanizing, catalyzing and amplifying the Africa-led movement to end FGM in one generation. Across the African continent, people are coming together to abandon this violence against women and girls. In ten focal countries, The Girl Generation will support national communications and advocacy campaigns to drive social and behavioral change. Globally, the program aims to strengthen the Africa-led movement by communicating positive stories of change, supporting grassroots organizations to strengthen their social change communications to end FGM, convening events, initiating media advocacy campaigns and supporting ambassadorship programs and efforts of African diaspora to help end FGM in their countries of origin. It will also help mobilize increased financial resources to end FGM in one generation.

The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) was founded in Boston in 1978 and has a current membership of 1,500.  The organization’s mission is to achieve the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession and in a just society by building a strong community of women lawyers, which is essential to the administration of justice, creating important personal and professional relationships, and providing leadership, committee participation, and business development opportunities. Since May 2013, a WBA working group has researched, drafted and filed "An Act establishing civil and criminal penalties for the female genital mutilation of minors" in Massachusetts.  The bill is co-sponsored by 67 legislators and has the support of two Boston City Councilors, the Attorney General's office, and 34 legal, women's health, human rights, and community organizations. The bill was heard before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on December 1, 2015. The working group has partnered with MassNow and our coalition members to build a community outreach and public education program.

Sini Sanuman/Healthy Tomorrow

Sini Sanuman was founded in 2002 by Malians who were involved in the Pledge Against Excision. It is based in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and has a small staff and an executive committee of nine. Sini Sanuman means Healthy Tomorrow in the local Bambara language. Sini Sanuman’s main project, the Pledge Against Excision campaign, has 56 partner groups including Amnesty International, Planned Parenthood, the Center Djoliba, APDF and most of the key players in the movement in Bamako. We also work through music and the media to try to convince people to stop excising, so many of our key people are artists. Healthy Tomorrow is a group of supporters of Sini Sanuman’s work in Massachusetts, USA.

Forma

forma is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) organization which was founded to provide mental health services to FGM/C survivors, both in individual counseling sessions and in groups. By uniting affected women, we find fresh approaches to the issues they share and foster conversational interventions that validate a sense of wholeness.  As mental health professionals we also provide psycho-educational outreach and presentations to social service agencies, schools, hospitals, and government organizations in order to raise awareness of FGM/C and advocate for its abandonment. 

Ottenheimer Health

Ottenheimer Health is a private medical practice based in New York, NY. The practice provides confidential general and gynecological care with special attention to adolescents and young adults. The practice’s founder, Dr. Deborah Ottenheimer, aids survivors of female genital mutilation and other survivors of gender-based violence in their applications for asylum. She has also participated in multiple asylum evaluation trainings for medical professionals and has lectured extensively on human rights violations against women, with a focus on female genital mutilation.

Please contact us for media enquiries.

 

Add Resources: 
Author: 
Equality Now
Author: 
Equality Now
Photo Credits: 
Hyacinth50, Flickr Creative commons

Partners

Equality Now thanks all the women who had the courage to speak out about this practice and share their story. We also thank our partners for their time and participation in the campaign and for their assistance in bringing together women to participate in the project.

Safe Hands for Girls

Safe Hands for Girls was founded by Jaha Dukureh, who was one of the first survivors of FGM Equality Now supported in the U.S., and grew up to become an avid activist for the eradication of FGM. Safe Hands for Girls is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and girls that have gone through FGM or are at risk of going through the practice. The organization primarily works in Clarkson and South West Atlanta in Georgia. Ms. Dukureh was named one of Time magazine’s Top 100 Influential people in 2016 and is working to establish a women’s center in her home country, The Gambia. 

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation was founded on the principles of ending violence and injustices against women and girls. The mission of the organization is to empower women and girls through education to eradicate gender based violence, with special emphasis on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation established the Global Woman Center in the Washington, D.C. Metro area, supporting efforts to prevent FGM and to provide services for survivors and at-risk girls.

Sahiyo

Sahiyo is dedicated to empowering Dawoodi Bohra and other Asian communities to end female genital cutting (FGC) and create positive social change through dialogue, education and collaboration based on community involvement. By working towards an FGC-free world, it aims to recognize and emphasize the values of consent and a child’s/woman’s right over her own body. The organization strives to foster a culture in which female sexuality is not feared or suppressed but embraced as normal. Sahiyo is the Bohra Gujarati word for ‘saheliyo’, or friends, and reflects the organization’s mission to engage in dialogue with the community to find a collective solution towards ending the practice of FGC or khatna.

Network to Address FGM/C in the United States

The Network to Address FGM/C in the United States is a coalition of civil society organizations, activists, survivors, lawyers and medical professionals advocating for the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the United States. 

Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC)

The IAC is an African regional umbrella body that has been working on policy programs and actions to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and other harmful practices and to promote positive ones in the African region for the last 30 years. IAC-USA is the US arm of IAC and has been working since 2012 to address FGM and “vacation cutting” among diaspora in the U.S.

Wallace Global Fund

The Wallace Global Fund (WGF) is a grant-making institution that was established in 1995. The mission of the WGF is to promote an informed and engaged citizenry, to fight injustice and to protect the diversity of nature and the natural systems upon which all life depends. Among the priority themes of WGF is advancing women’s human rights and empowerment, including through promoting the abandonment of female genital mutilation.

Human Dignity Foundation 

Human Dignity Foundation (HDF) is a private, Swiss foundation established in 2004 and governed by a Board of Directors. The foundation is a pro-active grant-making foundation. HDF supports programs that, among other goals, aim to make children safe at home and in their communities and prevent violence against children including harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage.

The Girl Generation: Together To End FGM

The Girl Generation is a social change communications initiative, providing a global platform for galvanizing, catalyzing and amplifying the Africa-led movement to end FGM in one generation. Across the African continent, people are coming together to abandon this violence against women and girls. In ten focal countries, The Girl Generation will support national communications and advocacy campaigns to drive social and behavioral change. Globally, the program aims to strengthen the Africa-led movement by communicating positive stories of change, supporting grassroots organizations to strengthen their social change communications to end FGM, convening events, initiating media advocacy campaigns and supporting ambassadorship programs and efforts of African diaspora to help end FGM in their countries of origin. It will also help mobilize increased financial resources to end FGM in one generation.

The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts

The Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) was founded in Boston in 1978 and has a current membership of 1,500.  The organization’s mission is to achieve the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession and in a just society by building a strong community of women lawyers, which is essential to the administration of justice, creating important personal and professional relationships, and providing leadership, committee participation, and business development opportunities. Since May 2013, a WBA working group has researched, drafted and filed "An Act establishing civil and criminal penalties for the female genital mutilation of minors" in Massachusetts.  The bill is co-sponsored by 67 legislators and has the support of two Boston City Councilors, the Attorney General's office, and 34 legal, women's health, human rights, and community organizations. The bill was heard before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on December 1, 2015. The working group has partnered with MassNow and our coalition members to build a community outreach and public education program.

Sini Sanuman/Healthy Tomorrow

Sini Sanuman was founded in 2002 by Malians who were involved in the Pledge Against Excision. It is based in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and has a small staff and an executive committee of nine. Sini Sanuman means Healthy Tomorrow in the local Bambara language. Sini Sanuman’s main project, the Pledge Against Excision campaign, has 56 partner groups including Amnesty International, Planned Parenthood, the Center Djoliba, APDF and most of the key players in the movement in Bamako. We also work through music and the media to try to convince people to stop excising, so many of our key people are artists. Healthy Tomorrow is a group of supporters of Sini Sanuman’s work in Massachusetts, USA.

Forma

forma is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) organization which was founded to provide mental health services to FGM/C survivors, both in individual counseling sessions and in groups. By uniting affected women, we find fresh approaches to the issues they share and foster conversational interventions that validate a sense of wholeness.  As mental health professionals we also provide psycho-educational outreach and presentations to social service agencies, schools, hospitals, and government organizations in order to raise awareness of FGM/C and advocate for its abandonment. 

Ottenheimer Health

Ottenheimer Health is a private medical practice based in New York, NY. The practice provides confidential general and gynecological care with special attention to adolescents and young adults. The practice’s founder, Dr. Deborah Ottenheimer, aids survivors of female genital mutilation and other survivors of gender-based violence in their applications for asylum. She has also participated in multiple asylum evaluation trainings for medical professionals and has lectured extensively on human rights violations against women, with a focus on female genital mutilation.

Please contact us for media enquiries.

 

Resources

Equality Now

Resources

Equality Now