Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Call for a Global Response, a new report released by Equality Now, End FGM European Network, and the US End FGM/C Network, features the voices of survivors of FGM/C from across the world.
The report shines a spotlight on the presence of FGM/C in over 90 countries around the world. It highlights the need to act to end FGM/C without delay.
It is a clarion call from survivors of FGM/C across cultures, communities, and countries to recognize FGM/C as a global issue, requiring urgent global attention.
Each of these women was cut. Now they are breaking the cycle of tradition and patriarchy by speaking out against FGM/C or sharing their experiences of being cut.
“I think we really need to change the face of FGM because it doesn’t just happen to people in Africa, it is everywhere…It’s easy to turn a blind eye and say it is not happening in this country [U.K.], in our community. But if people don’t think girls here are at risk, it stops them being saved because interventions that could help don’t happen.”
“I think it is important that the narrative on FGM moves towards Asia, there has to be a recognition that it is an international problem. We have to focus on the newer realities, the forms in which it is done, and the ages when it is done. There are big and small pockets of FGM happening across Asia…If you are talking about the complete elimination of FGM, every woman and girl counts.”
“There is such a silence that surrounds this practice, that until we are talking about it more, we are really never going to know the amount of girls in the U.S that have been affected. We have to remove the shame, make it a subject safe to talk about. This is not a race, culture, religious, regional or anything else kind of issue. It is a human issue, period.”
“There’s a complete wall of silence around this issue here [Canada]. People keep their hands off, saying, ‘That’s their tradition,’ and that attitude is wrong, wrong, wrong. That’s why FGM has survived hundreds of years.”
“In the Middle East and Africa they do Type 3 and Type 4 FGC, which can cause death, but the Type I practiced in Singapore is often not viewed as serious enough. We tolerate certain forms of violence because they are not seen as sufficiently important to address. Accepting FGC because people say that a woman’s sexuality needs curbing and controlling shows a lack of understanding about the meaning of this harmful practice.”
THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW
We are survivors of FGM/C from across the world, who have come together to add our voices to this report. The type of FGM/C we underwent, the age we were when it took place and our religious beliefs may differ, but we are united in our commitment to ending the practice.
We will be silent no longer. We’ve found our voices, and we are calling on you to stand with us and take action.