Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation has wasted no time in setting the date for their 2016 Walk to End FGM. The organization announced at their 2015 walk-A-thon last month that they have already secured October 15, 2016 with the National Park Service for their 2016 Walk-A-thon.
The National Park Service requires organizations to reserve their desired event dates on the National Mall in Washington at least a year in advance. With October being the Domestic Violence month, Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s preferred month for their walk-A-thon is October. “While we prefer to walk in the month of October, we also want to avoid a very cold day.” A representative from the organization remarked. “The middle of the month is warmer than the end of the month.” She continued. “We have been fortunate to have sunny weather two consecutive years for our walk-A-thon.”
The Planning Committee wants you to save and remember the date, Saturday, October 15, 2016 for the next Walk to End FGM. The organization will begin to announce their speakers as early as March, as they receive confirmation from invited speakers. Updates will continue through future editions of the newsletter on registrations, team formations, fundraising, sponsorships, etc.
All proceeds raised from the Walk to End FGM are donated to the Global Woman Center for survivors’ restorative surgeries. Fundraising for surgeries will continue by the organization throughout the year.
If you are interested in helping to sponsor the first candidate for restorative surgery, please contact Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call 703.818.3787. The surgery will enable FGM survivors to have natural childbirth, painless urination and menstrual periods, reduce infant and maternal mortalities, etc.
This column of “Did You Know…” is intended to help inform and educate our readers on the practice of FGM. This week, we will take a look at Somalia, and how far that country has come toward ending the practice.
Somalia is known as the country located in the “Horn of Africa”. It is bordered by Kenya, Djibouti, Egypt, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to the north. The capital is Mogadishu.
According to statistics, ninety-five percent (95%) of girls in Somalia undergo FGM between the ages of 4 and 11. Culturally, the expectation for girls to undergo female genital mutilation is closely associated with sex and marriage. It is believed that the men expect the girls to be virgins when they marry them. There is also the myth that if a girl has not undergone female genital mutilation, she is considered unclean and will not remain a virgin up to the day of marriage. The girls are cut and the remaining skin is stitched together and is only opened on the day of marriage. That opening entails another cutting.
A couple of years ago, the officials in Somalia were looking into ending the practice of FGM. Some of the girls at the time felt that even eliminating the stitching (Type IV – Infibulation) would have been an improvement to what they now undergo. The Infibulation type leaves the girls with only a very small opening, which accounts for painful urination and menstrual cycles.
Out of that ninety-five percent of Somali girls, are some world renowned women today; former fashion models, Iman and Waris Dirie and British Activist and Teacher, Hibo Wardere are three of the survivors of FGM from Somalia. Following their high fashion careers, both Iman and Waris spoke out against the practice of FGM. Waris has authored several books, including her personal story; and she has spent most of her adult life advocating and campaigning for an end to the practice of FGM. Today, Hibo is one of the biggest activists against FGM in the world. She is known throughout the U.K. as a Mediator, Trainer of FGM and an Anti-FGM campaigner.
Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation launched a special campaign petition on Change.org in August of this year to the U.S. Department of Education. The organization which advocates on behalf of women and girls against female genital mutilation has set a goal to collect at least 200,000 signatures; this is in its plight to get the U.S. Department of Education to include at least one lesson in its curriculum on female genital mutilation (FGM) in the elementary and middle schools.
The organization believes that educating the children from an early age, most especially the popular age range of seven through thirteen about the practice of FGM is crucial. The sooner the children are aware of the practice, the more likely thousands of girls in the U.S. can be spared from undergoing female genital mutilation. We need your signature to meet our goal.
To sign the petition, please click the link below and watch the video:
By signing this petition, you are making your voice heard. You are joining the thousands of concerned citizens, not only of the United States but of the world to say that the practice of female genital mutilation must be stopped. You are saying that there is no longer a place in the world for atrocities and violence against woman. It is a tradition that is older than five centuries but it is tradition that plays no positive role in a girl’s life; instead it can hinder her ability to bear children, and produces a lifetime of both physical and psychological pain.
If you have questions or comments about the campaign prior to signing the petition, please contact us at email@example.com.
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