Happy New Year – Welcome 2016!

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation wishes you a Happy New Year and welcomes our supporters to 2016!  We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a prosperous year ahead.

We are excited to begin a new year, which is also the sixth year anniversary of Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation as an organization.  Last week, we gave you a peek into our activities for 2016.  Here are a couple of reminders for this year:

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Many of our readers and supporters have inquired about how we came to observe a day against FGM.  Here is a brief history of this much needed observance.

On February 6, 2003, Stella Obasanjo, the former First Lady of Nigeria and then spokesperson for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, made the official declaration on “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee (IAC), founded by Dr. Morissanda Kouyate.  Dr. Kouyate was instrumental in recommending to the United Nations that the day be set aside to observe the world’s intolerance of the practice of FGM.  The U.N. Sub-Commission on Human Rights adopted the day as an international awareness day.

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) this year is Saturday, February 6th.  As an effort to make the world aware of female genital mutilation and to promote its eradication, in December of 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution.  The resolution called on all member states, civil society and all stakeholders to observe February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.  The U.N. requested that the day be used to enhance awareness-raising campaigns and to take concrete action against female genital mutilation.

In 2014, 17-year-old student, Fahma Mohamed created an online petition with Change.org on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.  Fahma asked the United Kingdom’s Minister of Education at the time to write to the leaders of all primary and secondary schools in the U.K. and encourage them to be alert to the dangers of FGM.  The petition attained more than 230,000 supporters and was one of the fastest growing U.K. petitions on Change.org. Fahma Mohamed got her wish, and the U.K. Education Minister did not only write to the schools, but to all Head Teachers in England as well.

We ask you to save the February 6th date on your calendar.  We will update you with details of an event in our area in observance of the day.

Walk to End FGM 2016

We know that October 15th is more than ten months away but we want you to save the date early on your calendar.  This is the largest awareness raising event held by Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation each year.

If you were unaware, on November 8, 2014, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation started the Walk to End FGM on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States.  The organization was not certain of how the idea of such an event would be received.  It was encouraging after a great turnout therefore the decision was made to make it an annual event.

Then on October 31, 2015 the organization held the second Walk to End FGM in Washington, D.C.  The event was endorsed by U.S. Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan.

Now the organization looks forward to the third Walk to End FGM on Saturday, October 15th on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  Remember, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation will award eleven deserving women on October 15th for their work and role against gender based violence, most especially female genital mutilation.  If you would like to see your choice of woman recognized with an award, send your nomination to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org.  Tell us why she should be recognized with a summary of her work and role.  In the subject line, indicate “Recognition Nomination”.

Did You Know…?  The Gambian Parliament Passes FGM Bill!

In late November of last year, the Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh stunned the world with his announcement that he was officially banning the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in his West African country.  Many advocates and activists applauded but were skeptical, and reserved their celebrations until they saw the implementation.

Last week, President Jammeh’s Parliament passed the bill to ban the practice of female genital mutilation in that country.  According to the Washington Post, the bill imposes strict penalties for offenders.  Offenders could face at least a three-year imprisonment or a fine of the equivalent of $1,250.  If the practice results in death, the offender could face life imprisonment.

The Gambia has been one of the practicing countries in West Africa with a high FGM rate.  Seventy-Six Percent of women in the Gambia have undergone FGM, and 56% of girls by the age of 14 have already undergone female genital mutilation.

In the Gambia, FGM is performed by cutting the genitals and then stitching closed the remaining skin so that the women do not have or enjoy sexual intercourse.  In the aftermath, it can lead to tetanus, gangrene, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The Global Woman Center is Open for Appointments

In Virginia, we are located at 901 South Highland Street, Suite 319, Arlington, Virginia 22204 and in Washington we are at 3920 Alton Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016.  The hours of operation at the Arlington location are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 10:00am until 3:00pm for appointments and at the Washington, D.C. location, only Wednesday and Saturday 10:00am until 12:30pm.  All appointments and information are held confidential.