For the first time ever, the United Nations has prioritized the elimination of FGC under the goal of achieving gender equality as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)—a 15-year plan to help guide global development and funding in the “areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.”
The day-long conference was an opportunity to bring together over 200 expert educators, medical providers, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, NGOs, activists, government officials, and others thought leaders from across the U.S. and the globe to discuss what best practices and interventions are needed to end this human rights violation worldwide by the year 2030. Participants came from over 20 countries including: Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Guinea, India, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Participants also included girls and women who have lived through the ordeal of FGC, as well as many individuals from affected communities who are now driving through changes so that other girls and women can enjoy greater opportunities in the future. The summit sought to advance a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to ending FGC and providing services to those affected.
Prior to the Summit Day, several side events and project took place to further collaboration between various stakeholders, including:
- Panel discussion on “Streamlining and Strengthening FGM/C Data Collection” with presentations from Population Council and Sahiyo. To view the presentation, click here.
- U.S. Exhibit of Faces of Defiance: A photo exhibit by psychotherapist and FGC campaigner Leyla Hussein and photographer Jason Ashwood celebrating U.S. FGC survivors as beautiful, confident, and proud of their achievements, despite their suffering.
- Side meeting event between law enforcement, child protection professionals, and NGOs to discuss coordinated efforts to tackle FGC domestically in the U.S.
- Activist meeting to provide an opportunity for activist from across the globe to network, collaborate, share lessons, insights, and best practice around advocacy and the power of personal stories.
- Evening Reception- Violence Against Girls: U.S. Summit to End FGM/C
The conference was organized by Equality Now, Safe Hands for Girls, and the US End FGM/C Network with support from Wallace Global Fund and Human Dignity Foundation. Sahiyo’s Cofounder Mariya Taher was chair of the Community Leader Working Group for the Summit’s planning committee. To learn more about the summit, and to view a recording of the summit day, please visit https://www.usip.org/events/webcast-end-female-genital-mutilation
To hear Mariya and Insia speak about the goals of the summit and the work that Sahiyo does, watch the following clips here: