Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF), a 501c3 nonprofit organization, was founded on the principles of ending violence and injustices against women and girls. Founded in 2010, the Global Woman organization merged with another organization called P.E.A.C.E. (People Everywhere All Created Equal); the name was officially and legally changed to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation. The mission of the organization is to empower women and girls through education to help eradicate gender-based violence with sole focus on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). GWPF created the Walk To End FGM, the first of its kind in the United States since 2014. GWPF’s programs include Wholesome Organic Relief (restorative surgery, counseling, group-support, assistance with immigration); Kids Reach Shield (training law enforcement, teachers, school nurses, and the community); Just4You (international – scholarships and distribution of sanitary pads for girls in Africa). In 2017 and 2018, the organization was instrumental in getting legislation passed to have FGM/C criminalized in Virginia. In 2019, GWPF worked to get legislation passed in Virginia to include FGM/C in the Family Life Education curriculum for middle and high school students. The organization was involved in the crafting of federal bill H.R. 6100, which will amend the 1996 original federal law against FGM/C.
1) When and how did you and your organization first get involved with Sahiyo?
I recall reading Mariya Taher’s story on ABC News, and it left me astounded. I thought she was so brave to come out with her story and share it with the world. I contacted her and asked if I could have permission to republish her story in our newsletter. She immediately responded and agreed. I had no idea that it would be the start of a long-lasting relationship. My organization presented Mariya with our Global Woman Award in October 2017 in the category of Survivor Activist. Mariya has attended several of our annual events, she has volunteered with us, served on our awards nomination committee, and partnered with us.
2) What does your work with Sahiyo and the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation as a joint partnership involve?
Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation and Sahiyo collaborate with each other’s events, attend and support each other’s events, give recommendations and referrals, collaborate on grant applications, and also fundraise together.
3) How has your involvement with Sahiyo impacted your own organization’s work?
We have had the opportunity to meet and connect with others in Sahiyo’s circle of advocates, and an opportunity to participate in the popular Voices to End FGM/C storytelling program Sahiyo runs. It was quite an enlightening experience for me. Knowing Mariya and building a relationship with her and Sahiyo has left a great and positive impact on me and the work we do at GWPF. Because I had studied World History and World Geography in my native Liberia, I was very familiar with India as a country. But Mariya and Sahiyo opened my eyes to a different view when I read her story in ABC News and discovered the Bohra community of India.
4) What words of wisdom would you like to share with others who may be interested in supporting the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, Sahiyo and the movement against FGM/C?
Get involved by volunteering with our organizations. Help us raise funds to support our programs. Sahiyo and GWPF share commonalities and both organizations began at the grassroots level. We run our organizations with a great deal of passion. Passion comes from caring, and care is what we have for the girls and women affected by the practice of FGM/C. We need to see more of the audacity that it takes to speak out to the world about the practice of FGM/C. Why don’t you get involved and join us? Thank you.