This blog from a young Kenyan woman reveals how the vivid memory of FGC remains with her. The scarring is psychological as well as physical. Writing about her experience, Kezia Bianca, explains how FGC is so ingrained in the cultural norms of her community that it is unchallengeable for a young girl:
“I remember 7 years ago as if it was yesterday. The scar still remains fresh in me. I really didn’t want to go through FGM, but because in my village all the girls of my age set had gone through it, I didn’t have any option but to follow the community traditions and it’s the community that dictates, not you”
Read more about Kezia’s work in the Kisii community to educate people and empower young girls to stand out against FGC.
A conference in New York at the Academy of Medicine will raise awareness on FGC and provoke discussion on working towards its abandonment. As well as health care professionals, religious leaders and human rights specialists, Mao Azango, the Liberian journalist who received death threats earlier this year after her report was published on the front page of the Front Page Africa (see our round up report from March). Find out more about the conference.
Closer to home, girls in Bristol made an award-winning film aimed at highlighting the risk of FGC to young women in their community. The teenagers received recognition for their film campaign which was released ahead of school summer holidays, a time when many UK girls from practising communities are particularly at risk of being sent overseas to be cut.
FIGO (the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetricians) reported on a new initiative in the UK to protect girls at risk of FGC, led by the excellent group Daughters Of Eve.