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“This partnership is critical to setting the stage for a world free of FGM and other harmful practices.”

Real change is propelled by the power of movements. By people and organizations dedicated to making change and ensuring that change enables all women and girls around the world to live safe, fearless, and free. 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is internationally recognized as a gross violation of human rights, a form of violence against women and girls, and a manifestation of gender inequality. Right now there are at least 200 million women and girls around the world who are survivors of FGM, though our research shows this estimate is grossly inadequate as these estimates do not include survivors from at least 60 countries where, despite evidence of FGM, national-level prevalence data available is not available. That’s over 200 million girls whose prospects have been harmed by a procedure with no medical basis, but with ample risk to their health, their bodily autonomy, and their lives.

For over a decade, Equality Now has been fortunate to count the Wallace Global Fund (WGF) as a key partner in our work to end female genital mutilation (FGM) across the globe. As part of its cross-cutting strategic priorities, WGF works at the national, regional, and international level to advance women’s rights and gender justice and promote social change.

Through its grantmaking and advocacy, WGF recognizes that to advance women’s rights globally, organizations such as Equality Now must be met with the support and the resources integral to helping to achieve truly lasting, systemic progress. Below, WGF looks back at what our organizations have been able to achieve together and shares why it’s proud to support Equality Now’s work to end FGM, and why protecting the rights of women and girls is crucial to securing a just and equal world. 

Why do you support Equality Now, and in particular our work to end FGM around the world?

Ridding the world of FGM has been a core priority for WGF since its inception. In a world where gender equality is becoming increasingly accepted within the political sphere, millions of women and girls continue to be robbed of their autonomy, health, and aspirations every day through FGM and other harmful practices. 

Equality Now has played a major leadership role in helping to galvanize the growing global movement to end FGM and continues to advance essential work advancing gender equality at global and national levels. This work is essential to hold governments and international organizations accountable for women and their safety. Equality Now also plays an important intermediary role connecting and convening local in-country partners to national and global coalitions and movements.

What inspired Wallace Global Fund to support organizations that advocate for gender equality and women and girls’ rights?

Advancing gender equality is at the center of work to advance progressive social change and is integrally linked to other movements advancing energy access, climate justice, corporate accountability, racial justice, democracy promotion, and reducing economic inequality.  We cannot devise solutions that will lead to the betterment of all people when half of the population is not fully represented in decision-making processes. For WGF, this means that we prioritize partnering with organizations that advance women’s rights and gender justice in tandem with our work across all of the foundation’s strategic priorities.  

What do you feel is important about the partnership between our organizations?

This partnership is critical to setting the stage for a world free of FGM and other harmful practices. Continued shortcomings in legal protections for women and girls ultimately legitimizes FGM and other human rights abuses, including gender-based violence. Equality Now has repeatedly stood up to these injustices and proven to be a leader in advancing rights to gender equality through their advocacy voice. Equality Now continues to break the silence around FGM and ensure that this crucial issue is prioritized globally.  

Equality Now is committed to ensuring every girl is protected from all forms of violence and discrimination by law. Find out more about how you can support our work to protect and promote the rights of girls around the world.