My parents would not have cut me if they had the right information, says a Sri Lankan Bohra

By: Anonymous Country: Colombo, Sri Lanka Age: in her 50s Circa 1970s, I was seven years old.   I hardly have any memories of my life during this period and most are vague, but I do remember almost every waking minute of one particular day. I woke up, I guess like any other ordinary day, …

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How female genital cutting is portrayed in television series

By Hunter Kessous Female genital cutting (FGC) is an international human rights violation and a form of gender-based violence. As the public becomes increasingly aware of this harmful practice, survivors of FGC are being portrayed in media and pop culture. FGC involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injuries for …

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From Saving Safa to Seven: How authors use writing to shed light on FGC

By Cate Cox “Without our work, the issue would quickly be swept under the carpet — and so we carry on.” —Waris Dirie, Saving Safa  It wasn’t until my first year at university before I was asked to critically engage with the issue of female genital cutting (FGC). Up until then what I knew about …

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Population Council hosts webinar to discuss ending female genital cutting

By Hunter Kessous The Population Council hosted a fascinating webinar, Using Research to Understand and Accelerate The Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). It was the second of two webinars from a series titled, Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive. The most recent webinar reported some of the findings of …

Continue reading Population Council hosts webinar to discuss ending female genital cutting

Rejection of khatna must be a step in the liberation of Bohra women

By Zarina Patel Khatna, or female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) within the Dawoodi Bohra community, is not a distinct or unique ritual. It has a context and it is important that Bohra women (and men) understand that context if they are to free themselves holistically, not only from the ritual itself, but from all that promotes …

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UNFPA launches 2020 State of the World Population Report

By Hunter Kessous On July 30th, the United Nations Fund for Populations Activities (UNFPA) hosted a virtual event to launch the 2020 State of the World Population Report. UNFPA is the sexual and reproductive health agency of the United Nations. This year’s report titled, Against My Will, focused on three of nineteen harmful practices girls …

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Protecting the girl child: The need for an anti-FGM law in India 

By Anjali Shah “Girls are not property. They have the right to determine their destiny.” – Anthony Lake, Former Executive Director, UNICEF Religious dogmas have gained focus with women coming forward to challenge the subversion and repression that they have been subjected to for decades. This has brought into the limelight the practice of female …

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Understanding the effect of COVID-19 on gender-based violence in Nigeria

By Hunter Kessous In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hidden Scars and Magool have teamed up to offer biweekly webinars that amplify the voices of the grassroots organizations working to protect girls and women at this time. On June 9th, the third installment of the Africa Led Movement series addressed the effect of the pandemic …

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Population Council hosts second webinar on FGM/C research

By Hunter Kessous The Population Council recently hosted a fascinating webinar, “Using Research to Understand and Accelerate The Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).” It was the second of two webinars from a series titled, “Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive.” The most recent webinar reported some of the findings of …

Continue reading Population Council hosts second webinar on FGM/C research