A Village in Mali Takes Steps Forward to Stop Practicing FGM

The Republic of Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa is the eighth-largest in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometers. Twice the size of Texas, the 2nd largest American state, Mali is also the largest country in West Africa.  It is bordered by Algeria to the northeast, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire to the south, Guinea to the southwest, and Senegal and Mauritania to the west.  With a population of 18 million in the country, its capital is Bamako.

The country’s economy centers on agriculture and mining. Some of Mali’s prominent natural resources include gold and salt.  Mali is also famous for its exquisite mud mosques and buildings.  The religious make-up of Mali is estimated at 98% Islam, 2% Christian, and 100% Animism.  Something that many do not know is that Mali was the cradle of the first Black Empire, the Ghanaian Empire.  People in the western world tend to use the expression, “Timbuktu” when they want to make reference to a very distant place.  Well, Timbuktu is realistically a famous city in the Republic of Mali.

However, with all the beauty and size of which Mali can boast, there is a familiar practice that exists in that Republic, which plagues girls and women.  It is the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), more commonly known as female circumcision in that part of the world.  To date, Mali, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the only 3 countries in Africa without laws against the practice of FGM.  But the story you are about to read is about a small town and commune in the Koulikoro Region of southern Mali.  It is the town of N’Golobougou, with a population of less than 15,000.  Let’s hope that this story will help to inspire other villages and towns in practicing countries to stop their own practice of FGM.  The following story was originally published in Healthy Tomorrow, and with the permission of the author, Global Woman Newsletter is pleased to share it with our readers.

By: Susan McLucas

The day we’ve been waiting for in Mali finally arrived on Saturday, September 22, 2018, when N’Golobougou, a village outside of Bamako, Mali (in Kalaban Coro, region of Kati) celebrated their collective decision to stop doing female genital mutilation (FGM) on their girls.  The Declaration of N’Golobougou, which was read by the representative of the Village Chief, includes a fine of about $50 for anyone who dares have a girl cut, which is a considerable sum of money in Mali.  From our experience in other villages that have done this, we don’t expect that to happen.

The exciser of the village has abandoned the practice and attended the ceremony, but did not speak.  Many villagers attended the ceremony, which included speeches, a feast and dancing.  It was covered by the national TV station, ORTM that aired the report on the news twice, so way over 4 million people saw it.

Speakers included the village chief’s representative (since the chief is very old), the mayor of Kalaban Coro, a representative of the administrator of the prefecture (préfet) of Koulikoro, someone from the National Program to Fight FGM (PNLE), the head of youth who is also the Imam of the village, the president of the women of N’Golobougou, the president of Sini Sanuman, Siaka Traoré, Kaniba Baguiya who was the main activist who convinced the village to stop and Assetou Touré, of Sini Sanuman, who also acted as the Master of Ceremony.

President of Youth and Imam of the Village, Assetou Toure

That day was the result of months of intensive work in N’Golobougou, where the problems with female genital mutilation were discussed and the village finally reached a consensus that they wanted to stop doing it.

N’Golobougou is Sini Sanuman’s 13th village to have publicly sworn off FGM.  Across the country of Mali, over 1,000 villages have done the same.  We hope that these villages are setting a good example for the National Assembly and that they will soon find the courage to enact a law against FGM and other forms of violence against women.

On October 9, at 7pm, there will be a gathering of friends of the organization, “Healthy Tomorrow”.  Tobe Levin (2017 Global Woman Awardee), who actively involved in the fight against FGM in Europe will be delivering a presentation.  Tobe leads the group, FORWARD-Germany and has spent a lot of time in the U.K. recently.  She also publishes books about FGM with her “UnCut Voices Press”.  Tobe is expected to share how the movement in Europe is going, and will share 3 short videos that have been produced to spread the word against FGM.  At this same gathering, Susan McLucas (2018 Global Woman Award Nominee), the author of the preceding story will also share news of their recent activities in Mali, including a brochure which Healthy Tomorrow has created to help girls and women avoid being excised in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    Comments and questions to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call (703) 818-3787

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2018

When you shop during this year at Amazon, please remember to select Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation as your charity of choice.  Please consider us when shopping. Your shopping makes a difference. Do your regular Amazon shopping and Amazon donates to Global Woman PEACE Foundation.

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2018, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Suite 600, Fairfax, Virginia 22031.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2018 Calendar


  • Collaborative Planning Meeting at George Washington University – Monday, Oct. 1st
  • Reminder to register for the Walk To End FGM – Thursday, October 4th
  • Milken Institute SPH @ GWU Fall Practice Assembly – Wednesday, October 10th
  • Monthly Workshop – Saturday, October 20th with Kerry Sparks and Suzanne Priest
  • Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 26th at 6:30pm
  • Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 27th at 12:00noon
  • Monthly Workshop – Saturday, November 17th with GWPF Thanksgiving Feast
  • Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 1st
  • Monthly Workshop – Saturday, December 15th with GWPF Holiday Lunch
  • Release of the 2019 Monthly Support Group Workshop Schedule – December 18th
  • The education toolkit – Now Available and downloadable at https://www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org/prevention-school-resource-fgm-toolkit/

We will update this 2018 calendar as schedules come in

This section is for special announcements.  If you have an announcement you would like to run in this section, please follow these guidelines.

NEW report by the AHA Foundation details why we must have zero tolerance for female genital mutilation.  Read about why we hesitate to protect girls here:  https://www.theahafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Why-we-hesitate-to-protect-girls-from-FGM-in-the-United-States.pdf

From unCUT Voices:  https://uncutvoices.wordpress.com/

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

  • The length of announcement must be no more than a paragraph of 6 lines.
  • Your announcement is free of any charges.
  • 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

YRATINAS                                                                             SANITARY

SNIKPAN                                                                               NAPKINS

LAURTSNEM                                                                       MENSTRUAL

EVIRD                                                                                    DRIVE

GATHSAH YPPAH DOIREP                                             HASHTAG HAPPY PERIOD

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 2018:

  • 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.