Why Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting is a Global Problem

This past Thursday morning, U.S. Senator Harry Reid held a press briefing at the U.S. Capitol to discuss the state of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the United States.  He told the audience that not enough Americans know what FGM/C is.  He said, “Many Americans have not even heard of FGM or they think it is a far away problem.”  Senator Reid continued, “Although it is illegal, it does happens here, and we should not stand for it. There are a number of actions our government can take right now to address FGM.”  Flanked by Shelby Quast of Equality Now and Jaha Dukureh of Safe Hands for Girls at the podium, Senator Reid stressed the fact that the United States is too far behind when it comes to the practice of FGM/C.

In addition, Senator Reid also had a stunning announcement that there will be the first FGM Summit held in Washington, D.C. this December.  The summit will be hosted by the U.S. FGM Network, which comprises of several NGOs in the United States.

When given the microphone, Jaha Dukureh, the Founder of Safe Hands for Girls pointedly stressed the need for funding to small grassroots community organizations.  Dukureh said that it is these community organizations that actually do the much needed work, and not the mega organizations.

While Senator Reid, Jaha and Shelby addressed the press, breaking news came out of Liberia, West Africa that a hundred and ten (110) girls had just been genitally mutilated/cut only days before.  The girls were taken out of conventional school and placed in the Sande Bush School for the purpose of forcibly genitally mutilating/cutting them.  It was only four months ago, in the same village of Grand Cape Mount County, when three little girls successfully escaped their would-be exciser.  It is unfortunate that the 110 little girls recently excised in the same village in Grand Cape Mount County were not able to flee from their excisers.  Now the world has another 110 girls left to live with the consequences of FGM/C.

The Sande Society Bush, also known as Zadεgi, Bundu, Bundo and Bondo, is a women’s secret society in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. The Sande society initiates girls into adulthood by several rituals, including female genital mutilation/cutting.  The Poro Society is the male equivalent of the Sande in those same West African countries.  The Sande Society controls the practice of FGM/C in Liberia and its neighbors, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.

Although the governments of both Guinea and Ivory Coast have banned the practice in those countries, a ten year old girl died last month in Guinea as a result of FGM/C.  The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have yet to ban the practice of FGM/C in those two countries.  According to inside sources in Liberia, the Sande Society has nothing to fear as far as having little girls’ genital removed.  They boldly and openly practice FGM/C, since they have full support of the Liberian government and its leaders.

Hiding behind culture and tradition is a lame excuse to continue the practice of FGM/C in any country.  Upholding the cultural traditions of a country should be teaching the young generations the cultures and traditions of which they can be proud; traditions they can pass down to their own children.  A tradition that causes death, a lifetime of pain and agony, emotionally and physically must be discontinued.  The tradition of practicing FGM/C is embarrassing and archaic.  The uneducated and uninformed have an excuse; they do not know and have not been educated on the dangers of the practice.  What is the excuse of the highly educated and well informed?


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

Here are step by step instructions on how to register for the Walk To End FGM.  Visit www.globalwomanpeacefoundtion.org, 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 info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call 703-818-3787.  Register at www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org 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

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 info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org 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 info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org  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 www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org.  Call 703.818.3787 or email info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org for additional information and volunteer opportunities.  Follow us on Twitter @1Globalwoman and “like” us on FaceBook www.facebook.com/globalwomanpeacefoundation.


Shop Amazon Smile & Donate to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation:  As you, our supporters make your purchases from Amazon.com, please do so by supporting us at: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/42-1690778 and Amazon will donate to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.  #StartWithaSmile at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/42-1690778 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

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 https://hilaryburrage.com/2016/05/12/un-geneva-my-book-launch-at-the-iac-conference-on-fgm/ and to purchase a copy of the book, visit  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/female-mutilation-hilary-burrage/1123329211?ean=9781742576077

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 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

POPUSRT PORUG                                                            SUPPORT GROUP

RIGLS                                                                                  GIRLS

ALEEV EM EB                                                                   LEAVE ME BE

NISIVO MENOW                                                              VISION WOMEN

LETTEREWNS                                                                  NEWSLETTER

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


The Global Woman Center Has Support Group Sessions

Support Group is currently meeting in the following Sessions until the end of the year:  September 24th, October 22nd, November 12th, November 19th, December 10th and December 17th.  We will break for the holidays after December 17th and resume sessions on January 14th.  We invite you to join us at 3920 Alton Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 at 12:30pm.  For one-on-one meetings, contact us for appointments at info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org 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.