Vision Women Launch Action against FGM In Liberia

The following article was originally published by and in the Liberian Daily Observer on September 16, 2016.  The author is C.Y. Kwanue.  Global Woman® Newsletter appreciates permission from the Liberian Daily Observer to run this article.

By C.Y. Kwanue

A newly established non-governmental organization (NGO), Vision Women Incorporated (VWI), yesterday formally launched an action against the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), otherwise known as female circumcision.

Yesterday’s exercise was launched in Kpaiye Town, Boe Statutory District, Margibi County, with support from the Virginia Giddersleeves International Funds under the theme, “Breaking the Silence,” with the local slogan: “Allow the Girl Child To Go To School.”

FGM is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. This year, UNICEF estimated that 200 million women have undergone the procedure in 27 countries in Africa as well as in other parts of the world, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age groups in
Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan.

VWI Executive Director Chris T. Jimmyton said the project was launched with the goal of creating awareness on the health effects of FGM on women and girls and to break the silence of FGM so that the practice will be discussed openly.

Ms. Jimmyton said the exercise is to further draw the full participation of and build support from community residents, especially women and girls, in the elimination of FGM.

“At the end of the project, it is expected that the beneficiaries will gain at least the desired knowledge on the health effects of FGM, to break the trivial silence associated with the practice of FGM,” Ms. Jimmyton said.

Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by a majority of women, 90 percent, some of them FGM practitioners from Kapiye Town and its catchment communities of Garmamu, Yekai, Kaiken, Bogetts, Nagbe, Ambush Curved Sand Town, Junckle Farm and Wrahjay.

“Our message to the participants is that they should not take the girl child to bush school, rather to take them to formal school. The bush school is a waste of time to formal education that will make the girl child to achieve in life,” said Ms. Jimmyton.

She said the message is for women not to hide the girl child and take her under the cover of darkness to ‘bush school.’ This, she said, is not good because it has the propensity of not only retarding the girl child’s academic achievement, but to also expose them to the dangers associated with the practice of FGM.

Earlier, the participants interacted with a representative from the Ministry of Gender, Social and Children Protection (who begged anonymity), who informed the women about the dangers the FGM practice pose to women, apart from retarding their learning progress.

In their separate statements, some of the participants, mainly the women, spoke of peer pressure that sometimes lead the girls to enter the ‘bush school.’ They also blamed ‘failed political promises’ – when so-called politicians would promise girls scholarships, but will not make good on their promises – as reasons for girls being taken to ‘bush school.’

Ishmael Walker, proxy for William Jallah, Director of Cultural Activities at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, informed the participants that the practice of FGM was now something of the past, “because then the exercise was considered to be good, but that is now something of the past.”

He added: “We are not against cultural or traditional practices, but are against the ones that have been outlawed, because they will impede the academic achievement of the girls.”

Kpaiye Town Chief Dolo Joe was represented by his secretary, Moses Gibson, who along with Town Chief Augustus P. Isaac and others expressed gratitude to VWI for the daylong program.

Mr. Gibson challenged the participants to serve as ambassadors by spreading the message on what the FGM does to the health and education of the girl child.



Global Woman Support Group Reconvenes in Washington, DC

The Global Woman Support Group will convene its fall sessions this Saturday, September 24, 2016.  The meetings will be conducted by two Mental Health professionals, Dr. Willa Jones of Washington, D.C. and Sando Sherman-Adetunje of Montgomery County, Maryland.  Due to privacy and respect for the participants, the group will meet at an undisclosed location two Saturdays of each month until they break for the summer in 2017.

The participants will have full access to the mental health professionals for questions and answers as well as advice during the sessions.  If a woman feels more comfortable speaking with a counselor one-on-one, that will be arranged.  The purpose of the support group session is to assist women who have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) to talk about their experiences.  It is hopeful that the sessions will help bring the women to a place of reconciliation and help them put the past behind them and look toward a brighter future.  When FGM/C is performed on the girls, it is instilled in them to never tell anyone what happened to them.  Most of the girls grow up never sharing that with anyone.  Dr. Amelia Kemp, a psychotherapist in Florida recently composed, recorded and released a special CD and video, Leave Me Be with the intention that the support group will use it in some of the sessions.

Here is a brief background of Dr. Willa D. Jones:  She is Ph.D. licensed professional counselor and a school psychologist in the District of Columbia.  A parent educator for more than twenty years, Dr. Jones is passionate about helping families pursue healthy, loving, and satisfying relationships.  Many of the strategies presented during her workshops have been well received.  Dr. Jones has participated on the Mayor’s Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force since it’s’ inception in May of 2012.  As part of the task force, on July 16th, 2014, Dr. Jones was invited to provide expert technical advice, as part of a state department panel on youth and conflict, to 24 individuals from around the world.  The visiting panelists worked in many different capacities with youth in at-risk or traumatic environments, with positions varying from non-government organization leaders and government officials to school counselors and academics.  Dr. Jones completed her graduate training at Howard University, receiving a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from that institution in 1997.  She has held memberships in the American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, and the District of Columbia Mental Health Counselor’s Association.

Here is a brief background of Sando Sherman-Adetunji.  She was born in Liberia, West Africa.  She is a social worker, licensed at the graduate level in the Emergency Services Unit, which serves the Montgomery County public.  Sando is currently a PhD. candidate with female genital mutilation/cutting as the topic of her thesis. She also worked with the Department of Social Services in 1988.  In her current position with Montgomery County in the state of Maryland, she works with families and children to help them get rehabilitated when they have suffered losses.  She also manages the homeless families and single adults.  When she was only nine years old, Sando’s grandmother kidnapped her from her school campus and took her to the Sande Society Bush, where she experienced female genital mutilation/cutting.  Sando is responsible for her home district in Grand Cape Mount County in Liberia becoming FGM-free.

Everything discussed in the sessions are held in the strictest confidence by all participants.


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.  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

A Call for Male Volunteers:  We are calling for male volunteers to join the volunteer team.  We still need about 2 male volunteers, if you are available on Friday, October 14th and Saturday, October 15th.  Please contact Laura Prawius, the Captain of the volunteers at and remember to put in the subject line, “Volunteer”.

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.  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

THONALKAW                                                                     WALKATHON

BEROOCT TH15                                                                 OCTOBER 15TH

DASARW                                                                              AWARDS

ZREPIS                                                                                 PRIZES

GOSSN                                                                                 SONGS

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 invite you to join us at our first fall 2016 support group meeting at 3920 Alton Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 12:30pm.  For one-on-one meetings, contact us for appointments at or call 703-818-3787.

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.