Good things are happening in Africa
I read my blog post from this time last year, when it was also the eve of International Day for FGC. It was so full of unanswered questions and concerns. I remember writing it in chilly London.
What I have to report this year, from hot and sunny Senegal, is that just with a little bit of searching, amazing things are happening in the world of female genital cutting. Much is being done to change this at the community level and, on the eve of the International day of concern, my plea to anyone who can is to try and understand the debate more, try and see it from the perspective of those who practise.
I hope that this blog and my journey may help to do that – I will keep posting over the next few days (and perhaps, over my lifetime!)
My reality is that last week I witnessed an incredible declaration, where communities danced to end female genital cutting, from choice, their joy apparent. Their community had, following a programme based in respect and human rights, chosen the right to uphold their daughter’s well-being
Yesterday, I participated in a video call from Senegal to the WHO in Geneva, to talk about what I witnessed here. It was an incredible discussion, partly because I was able to talk about the hope involved in this debate. I really do believe that what I’m seeing here is a sustainable, scalable, resourceable (is that a word?) way to end female genital cutting, within our generation.
What a gift to the world that would be. I will keep blogging to tell you more about what this is, how it is done, achieved and my thoughts on next steps.
But on the eve of this day of international concern about female genital cutting, know this. There is hope. Good things are happening in Africa. You have to see it to believe it and I hope I can help show you just a glimpse of that.