World Health Organization
Department of Reproductive Health and Research
1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
The cause of FGM is very important to me because, I witnessed circumcision and understand the serious impact it could have on ones emotional, psychological and physical health. In addition to being harmful, this practice goes against human nature and most importantly this practice is a violation of women’s rights. Therefore, as a woman and a native of Africa I believe that it is my responsibility to stand up for those who can’t and to help fight for the eradication of female genital mutilation.
FGM is a cruel tradition practiced around the world; this practice takes place not only in some parts of Africa and the Middle East, but also among immigrant communities worldwide. Recent data showed that it is much more widespread than previously thought. About 140 million girls/women experienced FGM and three million are at risk of undergoing circumcision each year.
Although I recognize the effort of the world health organization to help stop FGM, I believe that the problem of this cause could be solved by considering other approaches. I understand that laws and policies are put in place to stop FGM, however the reinforcement of those laws are weak considering that it touches base with social norms. Women in these countries are not given the same political, social or educational opportunities as men for that reason they have no voice; as a solution to this crisis, the priority should be to keep young women and young girls empowered. We can help empower girls and women by giving them the courage to break the silence and share their experience and also by protecting them. I don’t think that the fight to stop FGM should be precipitated; instead I suggest that we adopt an approach that promotes communication within communities and more importantly education. Education is our biggest weapon; by holding workshops to educate women and girls about the danger of female genital mutilation, we are giving them the necessary tools to make the change.
Finally, I would ask you to support local organizations such as “Stop FGM Now” and “Daughters of Eve”. These non- profits are doing an excellent work to stop Female Genital Mutilation.
I also would appreciate an update of the action you take on this matter.