International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM/C was this past Saturday, February 6th. Two U.S.-based anti-FGM/C organizations came together in a roundtable discussion in observance of the day. Among a diverse group of guests were the President and Vice President of the Guinean Women’s Association, representatives from the Kenya-based Memusi Foundation, officials from Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation and Inter African Committee USA, among many others.
The theme for this year’s observance is “Together, mobilizing to contribute to the achievement of the new Global Goals through the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation by 2030.”
Addressing the guests, the President of the Inter African Committee USA, Mrs. Fatoumata Kande-Kouyate said that they have been working against the practice of female genital mutilation since the 1980s in Guinea and other parts of the world; however they established the USA extension of the organization in recent years. She continued, “To this end, the Inter-African Committee makes a strong appeal to all its partners, (communities, governments, regional and international organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, women and men of good will) for a planetary mobilization against FGM.” Kande-Kouyate stressed the importance of assistance from all available channels, such as radio, television, press, social media, in-home visits, sports and traditional and cultural events.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, Angela Peabody told their guests that educating the excisors on the dangers of FGM is crucial. She called for collaborations through a special coalition to make the voices of activists and advocates louder. Peabody applauded the many men in the room who pledged their support in the campaign against FGM. Among the men around the table was a retired Chief from Guinea, who said he has always been against the practice of FGM.