An Open Letter of Appeal to the President of Liberia

Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

The President of the Republic of Liberia

The Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia

West Africa

August 30, 2016


Dear Madam President:


It is with greatest concern and respect for the future women of Liberia that I greet you in this unusual correspondence.  I certainly trust that this letter finds you in the best of health.


I still recall the joyous day that I sat before my television here in the Commonwealth of Virginia and watched you being sworn in as the first woman to be elected President on the continent of Africa.  I celebrated that day for two reasons; that my native Liberia had finally overcome a long gruesome civil war to hold elections and that Liberia had made history by electing a woman to lead that country.  I knew that with a highly educated woman as the head of Liberia, female genital mutilation/cutting would no longer have a place in that society.  As a woman, and a Liberian woman, I was proud as I watched you take the oath to uphold the constitution of the Republic of Liberia, and to protect the citizens of that country.  With your credentials, there was no doubt in my mind that you would execute the office of the President of Liberia in the best interest of the people.


I write to you today, still in the Commonwealth of Virginia, nearly twelve years later with a heavy heart.  I hold a heavy heart because Liberia is one of the three countries in Africa that continue to uphold the practice of female circumcision, now commonly known as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).  As an advocate for women and girls, I hold their interests and safety dear to my heart.  I would like to know that the little girls of Liberia (our future women) are safe and protected from the vicious blade of a female circumciser.


Our organization is not at all political, and I personally have never had any interest in politics.  However there are times when humanitarianism and government come together for a common goal.  In this case, the goal is the protection of humanity; the innocent and helpless little girls in Liberia.  They are unable to speak for themselves.  They live in terror because they never know when they hear the beat of the drums in their village, if it is their turn to be taken away in the darkness of the early morning.  Imagine the terror that overcomes them when they hear the deafening screams of a cousin, a playmate or a sister.  They know then that they are next.  It is compared to an execution queue where men are waiting to be taken away for execution, and they hear the deadly sound of the firing squad as they queue in and wait their turn.


I realize that I will come under criticisms and accusations for writing this letter to you, Madam President.  I have no other motive to write this letter, other than the safety of little girls.  I cannot fathom having my womanhood ripped from me when I was a child.  I thank the Almighty that I was born to parents who did not uphold such practices.  But because I was spared does not mean that I should dismiss the fact that little girls are being brutally stripped of their genitals and pretend that it is our culture.  It is incumbent of us to teach the future generations a culture of which we are proud; not a cultural tradition that is so shameful, we have to keep it a secret.  I guess you will agree with me that FGM/C is no longer a secret.  The world has become far too small for such secrets to be kept.  Social Media has built a bridge to connect the continents.  The world now knows about FGM/C, and we will continue to educate the world about it until every little girl on this planet is safe from the vicious blade.  It was only two weeks ago when a ten-year old girl in Guinea lost her life to FGM/C, and only two years ago when a thirteen-year old perished to the same practice in Egypt.  Madam President, set the example for other countries.


On Saturday, October 15th this year, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation will host its third annual Walk To End FGM on the Washington National Mall.  People are coming from various parts of the world to stand with us and join us in telling the excisors, circumcisers or zoes that we will no longer tolerate this heinous and archaic practice on innocent little girls.  Madam President, it is not too late for you to send the same message to the zoes and circumcisers in Liberia; that you will no longer tolerate that practice.  I appeal to you to ban the practice of FGM/C in Liberia.  The world will applaud you, women around the world will celebrate you, and Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation will travel to Liberia and present you with a medal of honor.  I promise you that I personally will travel to Liberia to present that medal to you.  You may hold me to that promise, and I can only hope that you will grant me that wish to uphold my promise to you.


I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to write this letter.  What a day it will be when you announce your ban on the practice of FGM/C in Liberia.  What a day of celebration it will be for women around the world.  And what a difference the impact will make on the lives of little Liberian girls!



Angela Peabody

Executive Director

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation

Liberian Seal  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Photo  Liberia-physical-map


How Can I be a Participant in the Walk to End FGM?

We have received inquiries about how one may register to participate in the Walk to End FGM.  Here are step by step instructions on how to register.  Visit, scroll down and click on the reg=but button and follow the instructions.  The Walk page is simple to navigate.  Here are other ways in which you may get involved:

  • Register as an individual participant
  • Form a team and invite others to join your team and help raise funds
  • Join a team that is already formed
  • Register as a virtual participant and help raise funds (if you are unable to attend)
  • Sponsor a team or an individual participant or sponsor the event
  • Be a Partner Organization with Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation in the Walk to End FGM
  • Register as a volunteer


If you need overnight accommodations for the Walk to End FGM…The official hotel of the Walk to End FGM is the Double Tree by Hilton, Crystal City at 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202.  A special negotiated rate is available when you register for the Walk.  The deadline for making your hotel room reservation is September 14, 2016.    If you call to book your hotel reservations, make sure to ask for the FGM 2016 Walk Room Block rate.  If you book online, make sure you click on the link below to make your room reservations.

DoubleTree Logo


To volunteer, contact us at or call 703-818-3787.  Register at and Walk to End FGM.  Please click on the link below to see some highlights of our 2015 Walk to End FGM.

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  As such, your donations and registration fees are tax deductible to the maximum extent required by law.


Weekly Special Announcements

Shop Amazon Smile & Donate to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation:  As you, our supporters make your purchases from, please do so by supporting us at: and Amazon will donate to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.  #StartWithaSmile at and Amazon will donate to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.  We appreciate your donations and wish you happy shopping!

Amazon Back to School Shopping

Walk To End FGM Volunteers:  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation thanks all of the volunteers that contacted us and offered to volunteer your services during the preparation and the day of the Walk To End FGM.  Our Volunteer Captain is Ms. Laura Prawius, and she and her team of volunteers are excited about working the 2016 Walk To End FGM on Saturday, October 15, 2016.  If you are interested in being a volunteer, and you have not yet registered, please contact Laura Prawius in an email to  and put in the subject line, “Volunteer”.

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 and award recipients in next week’s edition of this newsletter.  Registration is now available at  Call 703.818.3787 or email for additional information and volunteer opportunities.  Follow us on Twitter @1Globalwoman and “like” us on FaceBook

The book, Female Mutilation authored by Hilary Burrage has been released in the US and Canada.  The book is currently on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation highly recommends Female Mutilation for high school students and anyone who wants to learn more about the practice of FGM/C.  This book and the author will also be available at the Walk To End FGM on October 15th.  To read the author’s blog about the Inter-African Committee Geneva conference, visit here and to purchase a copy of the book, visit

Do you have an announcement you would like to place in this section of the newsletter?  Here are the guidelines below:

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

Can you unscramble the following five words?

This Week’s Scrambled Words







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

NCEVAC ANS SIONEXCI                                                 VACANCES SAN EXCISION

CIA-SUA                                                                                IAC-USA

NEAGUI                                                                                GUINEA

SSADORAMBA                                                                    AMBASSADOR

LLENCYEXCE                                                                     EXCELLENCY

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)
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship or Student-Ambassadorship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)
  • Sign our Petition


The Global Woman Center to Begin All New Support Group Meeting

We are located at 3920 Alton Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016.  The hours of operation by appointments only are Wednesday and Saturday 10:00am until 12:30pm.  All appointments and information are held confidential.

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-818-3787

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Virginia Crime Victim Assistance                        888-887-3418

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Sexual Assault                301-618-3154

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                           410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police            202-727-9099

Alexandria Victim/Witness Program                    703-746-4100

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program              703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness               703-392-7083

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.