On February 2nd, Sahiyo partnered with GirlUp ESCP for their inaugural event to present an introductory overview of the issues surrounding female genital cutting (FGC), and educate their community on what they can do in their individual lives to help empower communities to abandon FGC. ESCP is an internationally recognized university located across Europe whose main focus is on business education. This branch of GirlUp is made up of student leaders and activities from the ESCP school who are passionate about women’s rights and empowering girls.
This educational and informational event began with a PowerPoint presentation and a screening of a select few of the Voices to End FGM/C videos. These videos helped to give context and personal connection to the often overwhelming statistics about FGC. They also helped to highlight some of the most pressing issues facing survivors, such as medical stigma, community ostracization, and the prejudices coming from non-survivors and people who do not come from practicing communities. These videos helped us to demonstrate the global scope of FGC and the diversity of experiences of survivors.
The event also gave participants information and tools to help them in their advocacy, including linking them to local organizations focusing on this issue in their area. The participants in this training left with a better, more comprehensive understanding of the issue and with the tools to immediately involve themselves in activism around FGC.
At the end of our presentation, our guests had the opportunity to have their questions answered by Sahiyo co-founder Mariya Taher.
Trainings like this one are incredibly important as they help to dispel the negative stereotypes that surround FGC and help all people become more enlightened and conscious activists. When done well, education can be a life-changing tool not only to address negative stereotypes, but to empower all communities to end FGC and gender-based violence. Presentations like these are just the start of a lifelong journey to understand how and why FGC happens, and what we all can do about it.
If you are interested in hosting a presentation such as this one at your institution, please email our team: firstname.lastname@example.org.