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The End FGM Walk-A-Thon, 15 October 2016, Washington DC

October 15, 2016

16-10-15-end-fgm-walk-dc-img_2419-75The third Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Walk to End FGM, in Washington DC on 15 October 2016 – a beautifully sunny Saturday afternoon – brought together people from around the world, some of us already friends, others long-time connections meeting face-to-face for the first time, and others quickly to become new friends. For all this and much more we must thank Angela Peabody, the inspiration and mover behind the scenes of this globally significant and very special event.

For me, the most important aspect of the day was meeting so many like-minded and determined activists, every one of us focused on the care and safety of girls and women all around the world…

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Awardees, speakers and performers

…. and I was also thrilled to be amongst those awarded a certificate of appreciation, in my case for two books on FGM (below).

The full list of speakers and awardees can be seen here – and the text of my own short address is here – but the vibrancy of the occasion is best reported by way of photographs.

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Valiant volunteers

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Sayydah Garrett

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Teri Gabrielsen

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Severina Lemachokoti

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Sando Sherman-Adetunji, Angela Peabody, Hilary Burrage and Diane Walsh

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Aisha Kamara

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Susan Masling

… and the point of it all?

A better world for everyone …

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Francess (F.A.) Cole

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Amie Jallah, Angela Peabody, Hilary B. and small citizens

.

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Narratives by F.A. (Francess) Cole, Teri Gabrielsen, Sayydah Garrett, Severina Lemachokoti, Angela Peacock and Diane Walsh, all pictured above, can be found in the book Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (Hilary Burrage, New Holland (2016); their contact details are available on the website which accompanies the book.

See also awardee Susan Masling’s address at this event: Susan Masling Speaks at the Global Woman Peace Foundation Event on 15 October 2016
.

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Salima Garrett, Tony Burrage, Sayydah Garrett and Elisabeth Wilson display a painting entitled Excision by Quebec artist Patrick Gignac, a colleague of Godfrey Williams-Okorodus in the ‘Yes You Can say N0 – Picture It’ campaign against FGM.

~~~

[A note on terminology: The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, which has a primary focus on FGM, is clear that in formal discourse any term other than ‘mutilation’ concedes damagingly to the cultural relativists – though the terms employed may of necessity vary in informal discussion with those who by tradition use alternative vocabulary. See the Feminist Statement on the Naming and Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation,  The Bamako Declaration: Female Genital Mutilation Terminology and the debate about Anthr/Apologists on this website.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Books by Hilary Burrage on female genital mutilation

For more detail and discussion of female genital mutilation please see my textbook, which considers in some detail the situation globally, but also explores the issues relating specifically to Western nations:  Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Ashgate/Routledge, 2015). My second book, Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (New Holland Publishers, 2016), contains narrative ‘stories’ (case studies) from about seventy people across five continents who have experienced FGM, either as survivors and/or as campaigners and activists against this harmful traditional practice.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND ACTION

There is a free FGM hotline for anyone in the UK: 0800 028 3550, or email:fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

The (free) #NoFGM Daily News carries reports of all items shared on Twitter that day about FGM – brings many organisations and developments into focus.

Also available to follow at no cost or obligation is the #NoFGM_USA Daily News.

Twitter accounts:@NoFGM_UK  @NoFGMBookUK @FemaleMutlnBook  @FGMStatement  @NoFGM_USA @NoFGM_Kenya  @NoFGM_France  @GuardianEndFGM [tag for all: #NoFGM] and @StopMGM.

Facebook page: #NoFGM – a crime against humanity

More info on FGM here. Email contact: via Hilary

PLEASE NOTE:

This article concerns approaches to the eradication specifically of FGM.  I am also categorically opposed to MGM, but that is not the focus of this particular piece.

Anyone wishing to offer additional comment on more general considerations around infant and juvenile genital mutilation is asked please to do so on the relevant dedicated thread, originally developed in June 2012:

The Other FGM Debate: Is Male Circumcision (MGM) Also Child Abuse?

Pending further notice (of a planned new blog, sometime after February 2016), discussion of the general issues re M/FGM will not be published unless they are posted on this dedicated page.  Thanks.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2016 06:26

    Reblogged this on UnCut/Voices Press and commented:
    So proud of Hilary and all good friends who made this such a successful event. UnCUT/VOICES Press supported TEAM EFUA and will continue walking, speaking, painting, and raising awareness with images and words, digital and paper, until FGM globally has gone the way of the 19th century medical scoundrels in Europe and America whose practice of clitoridectomy lost them their licenses and their reputations. If FGM can be stopped anywhere, it can end everywhere.

  2. Severina Lemachokoti permalink
    October 20, 2016 18:38

    it was the best moment for me to meet with you Hilary Burrage! You have been an inspiration for me and my activism work among the Samburu Community in northern Kenya. God bless you as you keep up with the good work.

    • October 20, 2016 18:53

      I was absolutely delighted to meet you in person, Severina. I have the greatest respect for the courage and hard work which you and your colleagues demonstrate.

  3. October 21, 2016 23:07

    Thanks Hilary for such a great write-up on the Walk To End FGM. What an honor it was to have all of you there.

  4. DILSHAD TAVAWALLA, Barrister, Solicitor, Notary Public - Toronto, Canada permalink
    October 22, 2016 21:06

    Hilary, your writings inspire. Thank you for the work that you do to raise awareness on the practice of FGM. I wish I could have been there. Maybe, next event if I have sufficient advance notice.

    • October 22, 2016 23:10

      Thank you Dilshad! It would be wonderful if you could attend the next Walk-A-Thon. I think (?) it will be on Saturday 14 October 2017.

    • DILSHAD TAVAWALLA, Barrister, Solicitor, Notary Public - Toronto, Canada permalink
      October 22, 2016 23:11

      I will diarize this event, and plan for next year, for sure

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