Special Report with Compliments of Hilary Burrage

(From the Blog Post of Hilary Burrage)

By Hilary Burrage

The 2017 Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) Walk-A-Thon to End FGM is in Washington DC on Saturday 21 October.  (Register here.) In 2016 I was thrilled to be made an GWPF Awardee, and in 2017 perhaps more delighted still by an invitation to join the newly established on-going GWPF Awards Committee.  It was incredibly difficult to select our nominations in each of the awarding categories, but listed below are those eventually named for 2017, along with the names of 2015 and 2016 Awardees.

The newly created Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Awards Committee has as members Angela Peabody, who leads the entire GWPF movement, Amie Jallah (as Chair) from the GWPF Board, plus three previous awardees: Diane Walsh, Elisabeth Wilson and me.  Our deliberations were difficult, as we considered the enormous contributions made by a number of people to the task of ending FGM; I was privileged indeed to be working with my committee colleagues on identifying those who would receive acknowledgement in each of the categories the GWPF Board had agreed.

The categories of the awards are Advocacy, Political, Survivor/Activist, Education/Training, Literary, Legal, Medical/Health, Media and Student Ambassador.

The Walk-A-Thon to End FGM in Washington DC on 21 October 2017 is an event which all who can and should register to attend, and which those who cannot join us may wish to sponsor.  Funds raised will be dedicated to offering women who have had FGM support, both medically and socially, and to campaigns to stop FGM from harming any further generations of girls and young women.

.Award winners for 2017 are:

Advocacy: Arifa Nasim – founder of Educate2Eradicate, which  provides staff safeguarding training and workshops for students on the subject of FGM, Forced Marriage and Honor Based Violence. She has represented E2E at the United Nations when she was the Official U.K. Youth Delegate to the UN. But more importantly she has been able to get into schools and train teachers on how to spot the signs of these harmful practices.

Political: Senator Richard H Black – introduced a bill against FGM in February 2017 to the Virginia General Assembly to criminalize FGM.  He was vigilant and instrumental in getting the Virginia General Assembly to unanimously pass the bill in March 2017 and the Virginia Governor signed the same bill in April 2017.  As a result, the law in Virginia is effective on July 1, 2017.  Senator Black is also the Keynote Speaker at the 4th Walk To End FGM on October 21, 2017.  For additional information on Senator Black, visit the GWPF Speakers’ Page.  He is the GWPF Keynote Speaker this year.

Survivor / Activist: Mariya Taher – has worked in the gender violence field for nearly nine years. Her Master in Social Work in 2010 involved a qualitative study, “Understanding Female Genital Cutting (FGC) in the United States.” She has since focused on domestic violence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., Asian Women’s Shelter, and Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families, and The Women’s Foundation of California. Currently working with the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association to criminalize FGC/M, in 2015, she co-founded Sahiyo, a transnational organization to empower Asian communities to end FGC. Amongst other distinctions the Manhattan Young Democrats honored her as a 2017 Engendering Progress honoree.

Education / Training: Edna Adan Ismail – one of the most influential women in Africa today.  She is a talismanic figure whose life and work are an inspiration to people all around the world. Her long career in public life, which has seen her making lasting contributions in the fields of health, peace building and foreign affairs, has been marked by an exceptional devotion to advancing the cause of women.  She is the former Foreign Minister of Somaliland Republic.  She held this office from 2003 until 2006, and had previously served as Somaliland’s Minister of Family Welfare and Social Development. She is the director and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Hargeisa and an activist and pioneer in the struggle for the abolition of female genital mutilation. She is also President of the Organization for Victims of Torture.

Literary: Tobe Levin Freifrau von Gleichen – a multi-lingual scholar, translator, editor and activist, founder and owner of UnCut/Voices Press.  She is most known for combining her advocacy against FGM with her academic scholarship in comparative literature.  Her most notable works to date are Empathy and Rage. Female Genital Mutilation in African Literature and Waging Empathy. Alice Walker, Possessing the Secret of Joy, and the Global Movement to Ban FGM.

Legal: Linda Weil-Curiel – a French attorney and human rights activist who campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM) and plays a vital role in the prosecution of perpetrators throughout France. She has played a leading role in La Commission pour l’Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles (CAMS).   This is in stark contrast to France, where Linda Weil-Curiel has developed a successful strategy for tackling FGM through the courts. Linda has succeeded in prosecuting more than 100 parents and ‘cutters’ through the French courts. This coupled with education and publicity has reduced the number of new incidents of FGM in France and also the number of girls taken abroad for the purposes of FGM. She has also been involved in setting up clinics to repair some of the damage caused by FGM. Linda Weil-Curiel is a respected international voice on this issue, who has appeared before Parliamentary committees to explain and advocate the French approach.

Medical / Health: Dr Pierre Foldes and Ms Frederique Martz – Dr Foldes is a Surgeon Urologist, and a member of “Médecins du Monde” since 1978.  He developed and promoted the surgical technique to restore the damage done during the ritual excision of female genital mutilation.  Dr. Foldes has conducted research on the anatomy and physiology of the human clitoris since 1991.  He has headed special surgical missions in Africa and Asia.  His first publication on the surgical technique was in 2003, and he has since released 6 additional publications to date.  He has administered 5,500 surgical cases of FGM and provided 15,000 consultations since 2004.

– Frédérique Martz coordinated the actions of an organization of liberal female doctors for a decade. Frédérique Martz now assures the direction of the Institut en Santé Génésique, with a multidisciplinary team of 21 professionals (infirmaries, doctors, jurists, lawyers, psychologists). She initiated and organized the colloquium “At the Heart of Violence: When Women Start Talking” on November 13, 2015.  She was elected Ashoka Fellow in 2015.

Media: Maggie O’Kane – an award-winning Irish journalist and documentary film maker, until recently multimedia editor of investigations at The Guardian, and now director of the Global Media Campaign to End FGM.  She was previously the editorial director of Guardian Films, the Emmy award-winning film company which specializes in investigative films for the Guardian website and British and international TV.  A former foreign correspondent with the Guardian, Maggie has covered most of the world’s major conflicts over the last decade. Her awards include British Journalist of the Year and Foreign Correspondent of the Year.

Student Ambassador: Adama Diaby – currently a senior at Democracy Preparatory Charter High School.  Adama discovered female genital mutilation and cutting last year, through Sanctuary for Families, a New York based organization.  Adama is in a program at Sanctuary for Families, which was developed by Ms. Diallo with a few West African girls, including Adama. The program trains the girls in ways to approach women and girls who have experienced FGM/C, and how to inform the public on this issue that is ruining the lives of many young girls.

Full details of each of these Awardees can be found on the GWPF website.

Previous Awardees are:


Literary – Hilary Burrage – For Authoring Two Books on FGM

Advocacy – Susan Gibbs – For Her Continued Global Reach in Advocacy for Women’s Rights

Advocacy – Elisabeth Wilson – In Recognition for Continuing to Advocate against FGM in Europe

Advocacy – Sherelle Carper – For Organizing the Women’s Health Coalition of Women’s Organizations

Media – Andrea Roane – For Being Persistent in Reporting a News Story on FGM in 2015

Media – Diane Walsh – For Advocating and Covering FGM Globally

Media – Missy Crutchfield – For Using Print Media as a Weapon against FGM

Artistic Advocacy – Godfrey Williams-Okorodus – For

Using His Art Work to Fight FGM

Artistic Advocacy – Kristin Hoffmann – For the Composition and Recording of the Walk to End FGM Anthem

Legal – Susan L. Masling – For Her Work in the US Legal System against FGM

Student Ambassador – Amani DeShield – For Being the First Middle School FGM Student Ambassador for GWPF

Education – Sarah Sisaye – For Continuing to Advocate Education of FGM in the US

Survivor Activist – Yatta Donsii



Medical – Dr. Marci Bowers

Legal – Shelby Quast

Leadership Advocacy – Fatoumata Kande

Leadership Advocacy – Martha Allen

Survivor Activist – Jaha Dukurah (The Gambia)

Survivor Activist – Aissata Camara (Guinea)

Survivor Activist – Eva Flomo (Liberia)

Survivor Activist – Annie Wright (Liberia)

Survivor Activist – Hibo Wardere (Somalia)

Survivor Activist Francess Cole (Sierra Leone)

Donor Advocacy – Lisa Bruch

Walk To End FGM Special News

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation has encouraged walk-A-thon participants to form teams and join in the fundraising efforts to support the post-FGM restorative surgeries for FGM survivors.  The three teams that raise the most amounts will be presented with first, second and third prizes.  They need your help with only less than two months to go, they are only at 4% of this year’s goal.  The pre-walk ceremony is expected to begin at 12:00 Noon, and the actual walk-A-thon will commence at approximately 1:30pm.  Participants will begin claiming their t-shirts and giveaway bags at 11:00am.  The participants can look forward to a day of excitement and awareness.  Even if you are not a walker, you will find the pre-walk ceremony of interest.  To be a part of the day, visit the site at www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org and scroll down to the pink button, “Register for Walk”.

If you are traveling from out of state or out of country and require overnight accommodations, the official hotel is the Tysons Corner Marriott, 8028 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, Virginia 22182.  The deadline to obtain the special low negotiated rate is Wednesday, September 27, 2017.    If you call to book your hotel reservations, make sure to ask for the Global Woman PEACE Foundation Room Block rate.  If you book online, make sure you click on this link Book your group rate for Global Woman Peace Foundation Room Block to make your hotel reservations.

Look out for the continuation of weekly updates on Thursdays in September for news and updates, including weather advisories up to Walk-Day.  We look forward to seeing you on October 21st!

Hilary Burrage is the author of the two books, Female Mutilation and Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation.

Send all comments and questions about the preceding article to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call (703) 818-3787.       

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2017 Calendar


  • Walk To End FGM registration – Now Open for Registration, scroll down and click on the pink Register button
  • The education toolkit – Now Available and downloadable at Education Toolkit
  • Walk To End FGM – October 21st
  • Giving Tuesday – November 28th
  • Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Year-End Board Meeting – December 1st

We will update this calendar as the year progresses.  Please mark your calendars, as we work toward a prosperous 2017.

Volunteers Responsibilities:  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.  We invite our 2016 volunteers to join us this year.  They did a great job last year.  All volunteers will have free registration for the walk.  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”.

To volunteer, contact us at info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call 703-818-3787.  Register at www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org and 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.

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2017

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In your charitable contributions and donations in 2017, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON below or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001A Grumble Jones Court, Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

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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.
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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

KALW OT NED MGF                                                         WALK TO END FGM

TRATIONREGIS                                                                 REGISTRATION

NERSPART                                                                          PARTNERS

UNTEERVOL                                                                      VOLUNTEER

LOGA                                                                                    GOAL

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:

  • 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 Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

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.