Latest News from Equality Now - October 2013

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Efua Dorkenoo named one of BBC’s 100 Women
Efua Dorkenoo, Equality Now's Advocacy Director – FGM Programme, is among 100 notable women selected to participate at the 25 October BBC 100 Women conference in London. It will be a special day of debate and discussion, which will be streamed online and broadcast live in English on BBC World News TV and World Service radio. Throughout October, BBC News has been reporting on the lives of 21st century women and "the risks, challenges and opportunities they face every day, in every country."

'The Cruel Cut', a one hour documentary on female genital mutilation featuring Efua Dorkenoo and presented by Leyla Hussein, founder of Equality Now partner Daughters of Eve, will be screened on Channel 4 (UK) on Wednesday 6 November at 22:45. If you are in the UK, please sign Equality Now and Daughters of Eves’ joint petition to the Home Office to "Stop FGM in the UK Now:"
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52740.

Tasaru Rescue Centre holds Reconciliation Ceremony
From the End FGM campaign – an initiative of Equality Now

Photo: Paul Munene

"POWERFUL, the pictures tell the story so well. Is that the father I see, now an agent of change? One story like this makes all the effort worth it. Just one story." - JS

Equality Now's partner in Narok, Kenya, the Tasaru Ntomonok Girls Rescue Centre, was recently the site of an emotional reunion between a 12-year-old girl and her family. She had run away four years ago after learning that her parents had planned to make her undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in a lead up to early marriage – despite laws against both. Click here to learn more and view pictures from the joyous occasion.

Tasaru works hard to educate communities and reconcile girls with their families at ceremonies that are facilitated through local churches and village elders who are opposed to FGM. The entire village is invited and signed agreements, stating that parents or guardians will not subject the girls to FGM and child marriage, are required and shared with local authorities and children's officers. The girls can return to the centre if they ever feel at risk. Tasaru has launched a commission comprised of teachers, religious leaders, children officers, judiciary officials and other key stake holders within the Narok community, which will be instrumental in working against rampant FGM among Narok's Maasai community.

Equality Now to honor Joss Whedon at 'Make Equality Reality' Event

Photo: Getty Images

On 4 November, Equality Now will honor award-winning writer, director, producer and Advisory Board member, Joss Whedon, for his work on gender equality at an event in Beverly Hills, California. Chaired by Board member Gloria Steinem and hosted by Paul Reiser, Make Equality Reality will be an intimate evening of music, film and theater with special guests, including Jada Pinkett Smith and Alyson Hannigan, and featuring a live performance by two-time Grammy winning singer songwriter Colbie Caillat.

The evening is made possible through the generous support of GUCCI and Skype. The event is being produced by Control Room and images are provided courtesy of VII.

Equality Now films screen in Spain and Kenya
Africa Rising, our 2009 film on the grassroots movement to end FGM across Africa, was screened at the 5th International Unseen Film Festival (26 Sep to 3 Oct) in Bilbao, Spain in the categories of "Gender Equity" and "Best Work by Women." Director Paula Heredia was invited to participate and spoke on the work of Equality Now during panel discussions and interviews. The Jurors awarded her an Honorable Mention as "Best Women Director."  Congratulations, Paula!

Our Girls, Our Future, our documentary addressing sexual violence against schoolgirls in Zambia, screened at the Slum Film Festival in Kenya in September. Following the screening, the festival's organizers requested usage of the film for internal workshops and screenings, which will educate the public and raise awareness on the widespread nature of this issue.

Mandy's Corner: Women's Rights in the News

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Oct 2013
>> Kenya: Protect girls by enforcing FGM and child marriage laws

Sep 2013
>> United Nations: Listen to survivors – don’t jeopardize efforts to prevent sex trafficking
>> Yemen: End child marriages by enacting and enforcing a minimum age of marriage law
>> Egypt: Ensure Women’s Full Participation in the Constitutional Process and Promote their Rights