Saturday, February 6th is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Feminist.com is joining the global women's rights movement in raising awareness about this important issue - in particular, partnering with Donor Direct Action, an organization that links front-line women's rights activists around the world to money, visibility, & popular support, to draw attention to its Fund to End FGM.
FGM is defended in the cultures where it is practiced as a rite of passage and a social prerequisite of marriage, and it is used to control women’s sexuality by safeguarding virginity and suppressing sexual desire. According to the World Health Organization, more than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 29 countries in Africa and Middle East, where FGM is concentrated.
In Africa in particular, more than three million girls are estimated to be at risk for FGM annually. In Somalia, 98 percent of girls have been subjected to FGM. Many of these girls will lose their lives as a result - from hemorrhage, infection, or later in life during childbirth. No one knows how many girls and women die every year from FGM.
Donor Direct Action has created the Fund to End FGM in memory of Efua Dorkenoo, one of the founders of the movement to end the practice. The Fund supports two grassroots organizations working on the front lines of the movement to end FGM: Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD) in Somalia and Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI) in Kenya. These groups help young girls avoid FGM and intervene when girls run away from the harmful practice.
You can learn more about the Fund, hear the stories of girls affected by this practice (like that of 15-year-old Istar), and listen to Meryl Streep reading Alice Walker's tribute to Efua Dorkenoo at the Fund to End FGM page on the Donor Direct Action website.
We at Feminist.com encourage all in the global women's movement to recognize the International Day of Zero Tolerance in whatever way you can.
We encourage you to make your voice heard on social media. We have provided a sample Tweet below, but of course feel free to use your own words:
I stand with @donors4women and @feministdotcom in the fight to end Female Genital Mutilation. #EndFGM http://donordirectaction.org/2015/02/fgmfund/
Thank you for spreading the word about this important cause.