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Female Genital Mutilation

I have just read a story in The Dallas Morning News concerning Fauziya Kasinga wanting asylum to escape from the genital mutilation practice common in her country of Togo. To my horror, our government has thrown her in jail and treated her unforgivably. I am outraged that this is happening to an innocent person and I am trying to get info on what I can do to show my disgust with the government in regards to the way this case is being handled; as well as to help end this woman's needless suffering. I would appreciate any ideas or info.

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com—and especially for your commitment to women's issues and particularly those women who are subjected to FGM. There are several groups you can contact. Equality Now has done a lot of work on FGM and have specifically lobbied around a few cases—like the recent case of Fauziya Kasinga from Togo (note: she has since been released from prison and granted political asylum). Equality Now is located in New York City and their number is 212-586-0906. They are also working with Efua Dorkenoo who is, I believe a Ghananian, now living in England and working with African women in Europe who have fled their home country to avoid being genitally mutilated. Efua's organization is called Forward and is based in London. Equality Now should have information. She has also written a book—Cutting the Rose—about FGM. There is also a group being organized by Mimi Ramsey who is based in California. She was chosen as a "Women of the Year" by Ms. Magazine in January 1996. That issue of Ms. may have the name and address of her organization. Also, Alice Walker has written two books on this subject and I think both have indexes that list organizations working on FGM. One book is a novel—Possessing the Secret of Joy; the other, Warrior Marks—is also a documentary film. There are also two good books about FGM by a woman named Hanney Lightfoot Kline I think. I hope this helps and leads your energy in the right direction. —Amy

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