Celebrate National Women’s Health Week

Families and everyone in the U.S. took time from their regular schedules to celebrate mothers around the world this past Sunday.  It cannot be more timely for the Office on Women’s Health at the Department of Health and Human Services to celebrate this year’s Women’s Health Week.  This week is National Women’s Health Week as of Sunday, May 8th through May 14th.

According to the notice of observance, National Women’s Health Week is a time to encourage women to make their health a priority. It also serves as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to live healthier, happier lives at every age.  Here are some suggestions to help guide you through your National Women’s Health Week:

  • Visit a physician or nurse this week and arrange for preventive screenings.
  • Become active by taking 30-minute walks every day this week.
  • Prepare healthy meals this week by including more vegetables and fruits. Drink more water.
  • Pay attention to your mental health this week. Get enough sleep and avoid stress.  Try taking 10-minute naps if you can.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, not wearing your seatbelt and not wearing your bicycle or motorcycle helmet.

We want to help you understand what steps you can take for better health at any age. Your health needs tend to change as you age. Whether you are in your twenties or your nineties, the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) has information to help you learn what you can do to improve your overall well-being. http://womenshealth.gov/nwhw/by-age/. Age is nothing but a number; you are never too young or too old to take steps toward a better health.  http://go.usa.gov/czY7J.

Challenge yourself this week to be your “healthiest you” during this National Women’s Health Week! Try taking the pledge by visiting http://go.usa.gov/czY7m. Here is your calendar for the remainder of the week.  Share these messages with your FaceBook friends:


Tuesday, May 10: Get Active – Ready, set, get active! Whether you like to run, walk, or dance, pledge to get moving today. Your body will thank you.  http://go.usa.gov/czYeH


Wednesday, May 11: Healthy Eating – Building healthy eating habits doesn’t happen overnight. Pledge to pick ONE change you can make today. Try swapping soda for water or white bread for whole-grain bread.  http://go.usa.gov/czYJw



Thursday, May 12:  Pay Attention to Mental Health – We all need a little help sometimes. Pledge to talk to your doctor about stress, depression, and any other mental health concerns you may have.  http://go.usa.gov/czYJe


Friday, May 13:  Avoid Unhealthy Behaviors – Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. Whoa.  http://go.usa.gov/czYSx


Saturday, May 14:  Wrap Up – It may be the last day of National Women’s Health Week, but it’s not too late to learn what you can do to be healthy at any age.  http://go.usa.gov/czYSj


Enjoy the rest of your National Women’s Health Week and Happy National Women’s Health Week!

Sister Talk – Taking Back the Power

“I started seeing myself as a survivor and not a victim the day I took back the power my abusers had over me.”  Those are the words of Francess Cole, an outspoken survivor of female genital mutilation (FGM) and the Founder of Life After FGM.

Life After FGM is hosting its first sister talk conference, Take Back the Power on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the Nyumburu Cultural Center on the campus of Maryland University in College Park.  The event is organized for survivors of female genital mutilation and other forms of sexual violence, to come together and take back their power.  “It is a time for healing,” said Cole.  Attendees will receive tools which will help them take back the power their abusers have over them and live a life of total freedom.

Francess Cole was born in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, a country that practices female genital mutilation at a high rate, even to date.  Due to the presence of the Sande Society in that country, the United Nations has referred to Sierra Leone and its neighboring Liberia as difficult countries to end the practice of FGM.  While many women in that West African country still justify the practice, Francess Cole is one of the few women speaking out in critical appearances against the old archaic tradition.

Cole told Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, “I began speaking against the practice of female genital mutilation after the release of my autobiography Distant Sunrise – The Strength in her Pain to forgive. I realized a huge number of women and girls were suffering in fear and silence (just like I was) and decided to use my personal story of survival to motivate and encourage”.  She said her post-FGM years were not easy especially for her mental health. Even though she speaks at events and has made guest appearances on various radio shows, she still has not overcome the psychological effects of FGM. “Whenever I read an article on FGM, I go into PTSD mode. I often find myself thinking about the darkest day of my life (August 1st 1984) and wished someone had rescued me as my clitoris was being amputated”.  She was only eleven years of age at the time.


Cole recalls her childhood in Sierra Leone; that many girls did not know what sanitary napkins were because they could not afford them.  She said to date, there are many less fortunate girls who cannot afford sanitary napkins; they still use pieces of cloth as protection during their menstrual periods.  Francess told Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation that she wants to change that in Sierra Leone.  She has launched a drive to collect sanitary napkins to take back to Sierra Leone and distribute them to the girls in need.  Cole said she will travel to Sierra Leone each year and will conduct workshops on personal hygiene for the girls, at which time she will pass out sanitary napkins.  This month’s event is free of charge but she wants the public to know that they would appreciate donations of sanitary napkins during the event.  The local organization in Sierra Leone, Girl Child Network will benefit from the sanitary napkins drive and the workshops.


Cole wants everyone to know that FGM is not an African thing, neither is it a cultural and religious thing. She said, “FGM is now happening on European and American soils so it is now everybody’s thing.”

Francess A. Cole's photo


Join the sister talk conference in helping women take back their lives on Saturday, May 21st at 4018 Campus Drive, College Park, Maryland 20740 – 1:30pm until 4:00pm.  What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!


Join us in next week’s edition when An Exclusive returns with another fascinating woman. 

Weekly Special Announcements

Volunteers Needed:  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is in search of volunteers for their 3rd annual Walk to End FGM in the nation’s capital on Saturday, October 15, 2016.  Volunteers’ responsibilities are: Arrive early, set-up, on-site registration, T-shirt and bag distribution, oversee donations, supervision of the tents, coordinate pre-walk ceremony, seat speakers and guests, coordinate photo-ops and pre-walk interviews.  All volunteers will have free registration for the walk.  A special registration code will be provided once you have been approved as a volunteer.  If you are interested in being a volunteer for the Walk to End FGM send an email to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org  and put in the subject line, “Volunteer”.

Female Mutilation authored by Hilary Burrage was formally released in the US and Canada yesterday, May 2, 2016.  The book is on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  This book is highly recommended for high school students and anyone who wants to learn more about the practice of FGM/C.  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/female-mutilation-hilary-burrage/1123329211?ean=9781742576077

Save the Date: Saturday, October 15, 2016.  Plan to join us for the Walk to End FGM 2016.  We will release the list of our speakers later this month.  Registration begins in 2 weeks.  Call 703.818.3787 or email info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org for additional information.  Follow us on Twitter @1Globalwoman and “like” us on FaceBook www.facebook.com/globalwomanpeacefoundation.


Attention: The U.S. government opposes FGM/C, no matter the type, degree, or severity, and no matter what the motivation for performing it. The U.S. government considers FGM/C to be a serious human rights abuse, gender-based violence, and, when done to children, a form of child abuse. It is against the law to perform FGM/C in the United States on a girl under the age of 18 or to send or attempt to send her outside the United States so FGM/C can be performed. People who violate this law can face prison time and significant immigration consequences. Additionally, anyone who performs FGM/C on a woman 18 years old or older without her consent may be charged with a crime under other laws.  If someone performed FGM/C on you, you have not violated any U.S. laws and are not at fault, call 1-800-994-9662.

The guidelines to submit an announcement are to appear in this newsletter:

  • The length of announcement must be no more than a paragraph of 6 lines.
  • Your announcement should be something that pertains to women, girls or students, such as events, walk-a-thons, conferences, etc.
  • If there is an accompanying image, it must be no less than 72 dpi, preferably in jpeg.
  • Your announcement must be received no later than the Thursday 5:00pm prior to the following Tuesday publication.
  • Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation reserves the right to deny a submission if it is not within our guidelines.

Weekly Word-Scramble

Do you enjoy playing with words?  This is a fun way to see how well you can unscramble the following words.  We will reveal the unscrambled words in next week’s edition of the newsletter.  If you enjoyed this, write and give us your feedback to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org.

Can you unscramble the following five words?

This Week’s Scrambled Words







Last Week’s Scrambled Words                               Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

AINALA TOULARETTE                                                   ALAINA LATOURETTE

EW RAE MANWO                                                             WE ARE WOMAN

KINABUR SAFO                                                                BURKINA FASO

FELI TERAF GMF                                                             LIFE AFTER FGM

HILDC BUSEA                                                                   CHILD ABUSE

We give you five scrambled words each week.  We hope you enjoy playing.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2016:

  • gofundme
  • Donations (including in-kind donations) globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship or Student-Ambassadorship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Mile High United Way or the government employee giving program)
  • Sign our Petition