WRAPA’s Saudatu Mahdi in The New York Times.
DDA partners with WRAPA to support women and girls in Nigeria.Support WRAPA
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a severe form of violence against girls and women which includes partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is one of many human rights abuses used around the world to subjugate women, denying them equality. In its most extreme form, infibulation, the external genitalia are completely removed and the remaining skin is stitched together. FGM can have severe and lifelong medical and psychological effects, and many girls die from hemorrhage or infection as a result. According to UNICEF, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in at least 29 countries. On the African continent, more than three million girls are estimated to be at risk of FGM.
Donor Direct Action officially launched the Efua Dorkenoo Fund to End FGM in 2017. A leading figure in the movement Efua passed away in October 2014 after a lifetime of successful activism, which moved the agenda forward and brought much greater awareness to the harmful effects of FGM.
However, funding to those front line groups that have been working hard to end it has remained woefully inadequate. The Fund currently supports three grassroots organizations working on the front lines of the movement to end FGM:
In Somalia the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD) was founded in 1999 by Hawa Aden Mohamed. In a particularly difficult environment where 98% of women and girls have undergone it Hawa has been making an incredible difference by protecting thousands of girls at risk and transforming their lives through education.
In Kenya, Agnes Pareyio founded the Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI) to provide a safe house for girls running away from FGM, as well as education and other support. TNI also works to reunite girls with their families after securing their commit not to cut them.
In Sierra Leone, Rugiatu Turay founded the Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM) to ensure that girls at risk are protected in a country where 88% of girls and women have been subjected to it, often in the context of initiation rites.
These inspiring activists help young girls avoid FGM and provide safe spaces for them when they run away from it. They need your urgent support to continue their life saving work.
LISTEN TO MERYL STREEP READING ALICE WALKER’S TRIBUTE TO EFUA DORKENOO
Read our 2018 Update on Ending FGM
FGM is now considered child abuse, but where is the funding? by Jessica Neuwirth
Ending FGM is only possible if we empower girls by Jessica Neuwirth
Rachel Moran was coerced into sex work in her early teens. She campaigned strongly for a new law, brought in last year, to criminalise the buying of sex. She tells Ryan why she believes a failure to fully enforce this new law is making the sex trade more dangerous.
We recently received this note from Krishma and wanted to share it with you:
At age 18 I was sold into marriage to an older man in Afghanistan. I protested but I had no choice and at one point was even threatened by my father with a knife. After many months of abuse from my husband I finally managed to run away to the emergency safe house run by the Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA) in Kabul.
In the safe house they gave me the strength to fight for myself. They are like family to me and they gave so much love and respect.
Woman at HAWCA safe house, Kabul, Afghanistan
Please make an urgent donation to HAWCA so girls and women like Krishma can continue to have somewhere safe to go to rebuild their lives after facing such desperate circumstances.
Hundreds of Nigerian girls have been kidnapped in recent years – at Chibok in 2014 when 276 were taken and more recently at Dapchi in north-eastern Nigeria, where a further 110 were abducted just days ago.
Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) in Nigeria has a clear plan of action. They are using International Women’s Day to amplify the call for the rescue of the abducted girls, to work for passage of gender equality legislation, and to mobilize citizens to hold the Nigerian government accountable.
WRAPA Event, New York, 2016
Last year I had the chance to meet Saudatu Mahdi, its Secretary General, in person. She is courageous and determined, and I want to do everything I can to help her and WRAPA build a strong women’s movement in Nigeria. I hope you will join me by donating what you can to help us move forward with this urgent work.
You can make such a difference to women and girls in Nigeria – it’s a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day! Thank you for your much-needed support!
Women and girls in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland who accuse police, army and marines of raping them are not receiving justice, campaigners said on Tuesday.
Activists from the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD) said no one has been charged in three cases of rape which have been reported to the police since December, in which security forces are suspected of involvement.
London activist and FGM survivor Nimco Ali created the triangular brooch to mark the fact that ending the brutal practice is a tangible reality.
The gold-plated pin, pictured, was also made to coincide with tomorrow’s international day of zero tolerance for FGM — and to celebrate the seventh birthday of Ms Ali’s niece Sofia, the first girl in her family to remain uncut.