One of the reasons FGM persists is that it happens in silence. We need a national conversation that engages all sectors of society. We need to recognize that FGM is child sexual assault. We need the stories of FGM survivors integrated into a more inclusive and intersectional #MeToo movement.
“You need to have a regular and intense exposure of the people to the same information and messaging. Let them reflect, let them speak, let them think about it. It takes weeks and months to change their vision.”
The U.S. Attorney General decided not to appeal the Michigan case against Jumana Nagarwala—a doctor who may have subjected up to 100 girls to Female Genital Mutilation over a 12-year period. It’s now up to Congress to respond.
Half a million. That is how many women and girls across the U.S. are currently at risk of or have been subjected to female genital mutilation. It’s a number that surprises many—and so should the fact that just 28 states have enacted laws to protect women and girls against it.
Jaha Dukureh became a revolutionary when she was forced into marriage at 15—and learned that she had undergone the most severe form of female genital mutilation when she was only a week old. Ms. talked to the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee about her pioneering work, her motivation and what’s next.
Complex issues necessitate complex solutions. Women and girls who are facing FGM/C deserve more than lip service from the U.S. government; they deserve our full support.
The voices unleashed so powerfully by the #MeToo movement have begun to illuminate the full scope of the violence and discrimination woven into the fabric of women’s lives. The elimination of FGM/C should play prominently in this dialogue.
Nigeria has joined 23 African countries in banning female genital mutilation.
How do we determine where to draw the lines of acceptable and unacceptable bodily interventions? Especially troubling is the eerily uncomfortable overlap of female genital construction surgery and what we define as female genital mutilation.
We should shift focus and support the women who are speaking up on specific issues instead of tearing down the ones who aren’t.