First U.S. FGM Summit, Washington DC, December 1st and 2nd, 2016
The FGM Summit in Washington DC was held over the first two days of December 2016, providing for the first time in the USA an opportunity for leading activists and strategists against female genital mutilation from across the world to meet and consider both progress and remaining challenges. I was pleased to be amongst those attending. Good practice was interrogated and friendships and collaborations consolidated, as we pondered both the commonalities which FGM presents, and the very different ways in which, variously, eradication is approached.
END VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRLS: SUMMIT ON FGM/C, DECEMBER 1-2, 2016 (Washington DC)
Equality Now, Safe Hands for Girls, the US Institute for Peace, and the US Network to End FGM/C,
with support from Wallace Global Fund and Human Dignity Foundation
organized the first US-hosted End Violence Against Girls Summit to End FGM/C.
This creative, positive and engaging event brought together domestic and international thought leaders, survivors, civil society, front-line professionals, and government to discuss cross-sectoral approaches, in the US and internationally, to ending FGM by 2030.
Those attending included activists and subject specialists from across the US and over 20 countries: Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Guinea, India, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, UK, and the United States; the United Nations, international and US government representatives, faith-based leaders and members of the Donor Working Group on FGM/C, all sharing top-line recommendations across sectors, including survivor/activists, child protection, education, health care, community and faith-based groups, law enforcement and government, to respond to and eliminate FGM.
• Share best practices in ending FGM and supporting FGM survivors
• Advance a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to ending FGM and providing services to those affected, including healthcare, child protection, education, and law enforcement.
• Foster increased coordination and collaboration among government, front line professionals, religious and community leaders, and activists focused on protecting girls from violence and eradicating FGM by 2030.
• Launch inclusive and vibrant US ‘End FGM/C’ Network.
• Strengthen international movement to end FGM.
Thursday 1 December 2016
including a meeting hosted by Safe Hands for Girls of community activists and survivors from around the world
and a very informative round table discussion hosted by US government attorney Susan Masling with colleagues from the US Department of Justice, and from other countries such as Kenya and the UK, to consider legal and related aspects of eradication:
The legal session was followed by an evening reception for all Summit attendees at the National Museum of Women in the Arts :
Friday 2 December 2016, at the U.S. Institute of Peace
The full Summit agenda can be seen here.
Welcome & Keynote Remarks
Activists and Youth Panel
Performance of Her Story, UnCut, written & directed by Katie Cappiello
Role of Educators Panel
Medical and Service Providers Panel
Video presentation of Jaha’s Journey, presented by Maggie O’Kane of The Guardian End FGM Global Media Campaign
Congressman Joseph Crowley
Law Enforcement/Child Protection Panel
Religious and Community Leaders Panel
International Sustainable Development Goals Panel
Best Practices and Solutions Panel
The Summit on FGM/C was livestreamed the day of the event on https://www.usip.org/events/webcast-‐end-‐female-‐genital-‐mutilation ….
…. and that contact for US End FGM/C again: info@USEndFGMC.org
or just go to the website:
Let’s do it!
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[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.]
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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:firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Facebook page: #NoFGM – a crime against humanity
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:
Pending further notice, discussion of the general issues re M/FGM will not be published unless they are posted on this dedicated page. Thanks.