Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2019 Calendar

Save-these-Dates

  • Support Group Mobilized – Saturday, September 14th
  • GWPF 3rd Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, September 28th
  • Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 18th
  • Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 19th
  • Thanksgiving Feast / Support Group – Saturday, November 16th
  • GWPF Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 7th

We will update this 2019 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.


The education toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

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

LABOLG NAMOW SDRAWA (3 WORDS)

DRAWA NOITINGOCER (2 WORDS)

SNOITALUTARGNOC

ASIL C. HCURB (2 WORDS & MIDDLE INITIAL)

YROGETAC

Last Week’s Scrambled Words                      Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

LEEMAK YDAMHA                                       KAMEEL AHMADY           

TSIGOLOPORHTNA                                      ANTHROPOLOGIST

NAINARI                                                          IRANIAN                  

DETSERRA                                                      ARRESTED

DENIATED                                                      DETAINED                          

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 2019: 

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program 
  • Volunteering  
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Health Insurance and Living Assistance
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Application
  • Adult Literacy Preparation
  • Grocery & Gasoline Assistance

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Survivor-only Support Group
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources

Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution
  • Scholarships to Girls in Africa

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

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

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness               703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                   800-994-9662

WITH 57 DAYS TO “WALK TO END FGM” LET’S REGISTER!!

The countdown continues for registration to the Walk To End FGM, scheduled for Saturday, October 19th on the Washington National Mall.  Make sure you register early to pay the early bird fee of $35.  Our Keynote Speaker this year at the Walk To End FGM is Thomas P. Murt of the House of Representatives of the 152nd District in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Representative Murt was instrumental in getting the law against FGM passed recently in his state, so you do not want to miss his speech.   

Started in 2014, Walk to End FGM is a 5K charity walk-A-thon against female genital mutilation (FGM).  FGM is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.  Most girls undergo FGM when they are between 5 and 15 years old.  Practiced for more than 5 centuries, FGM made its way to Europe, the U.K., Australia and North America due to the continuation of the practice by immigrants from countries where FGM is common. 

Mission and Purpose

The mission of our organization is to empower women and girls through education to eradicate gender based violence, with focus on female genital mutilation.  The purpose of the Walk to End FGM is to raise awareness about the practice of female genital mutilation and raise funds to support our programs.  The organization saw the need to educate and inform the public in the U.S. that this heinous and atrocious practice is not only a problem in Africa, Asia and the Middle East; that it is a problem of the world.

Proceeds

The proceeds raised from the Walk to End FGM are used to support the programs for the rehabilitation of FGM survivors and the prevention of FGM on girls.

Get Involved and Participate

  • Form a team and invite others to join your team and help raise funds
  • Join a team that is already formed
  • Register as an individual participant
  • 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

To volunteer, contact us at info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call 703-832-2642.  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.

GWPF’s 2018 Award Recipient Arrested & Detained In Iran

It is in this edition of the Global Woman Newsletter that the 2019 Award Recipients would have been announced to the world.  Instead, the disturbing news of the imprisonment of Global Woman Awards’ 2018 Literary Awardee, Mr. Kameel Ahmady changed the plans in making that announcement.

According to the Center for Human Rights in Iran, Anthropologist and an Iranian-British citizen, Kameel Ahmady was arrested and detained on Sunday, August 11, 2019.  The Human Rights Center reports that the Iranian authorities have not allowed Kameel’s family to visit him since his detention more than a week ago.

Born in the Kurdish city of Mahabad in Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province, Kameel received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of the Arts, London, and his Master’s Degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury in the United Kingdom.  He received his British Citizenship approximately 25 years ago, but has spent most of those years conducting his research studies and literary work in Iran with his family.  In 2016, Kameel’s book, In the Name of Tradition: Female Genital Mutilation in Iran was published by Dr. Tobe Levin’s publishing company, UnCut Voices.  His book was hailed by the Guardian and the International Gender Studies Center.  

In the Foreword of the book, Kameel wrote, “Female Genital Mutilation is an issue of urgency to feminists, human rights campaigners and social activists as well as international organizations such as UNICEF and many responsible governments determined to end it. I join them.”  He said, “This research began when I returned from Europe after a prolonged absence to my birthplace, Iranian Kurdistan, to learn more about FGM. For several years I had worked in Africa with humanitarian relief NGOs and observed UN projects to combat excision in countries like Egypt, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan.”  Kameel also added in his book, “Remembering hushed tones from my childhood suggesting that FGM, locally called sunnet existed in some parts of Iranian Kurdistan, I decided to conduct some preliminary research beginning with my own family and close relatives. Imagine my shock when uncovering evidence that FGM had long existed in areas of Mukriyan and that my grandmothers, mother and sister had all endured it.”

As an Anthropologist, Kameel has conducted extensive research, not only on female genital mutilation, but such controversial topics as child marriage, gender, honor killing, homosexuality, and white marriage.  In 2017, a year after his book was published Kameel produced a documentary on FGM in the Northwestern part of Iran.  That same year, he received the IKWRO True Honor Award.  His first book, Another Look at East and Southeast of Turkey was published in 2009 in Istanbul.  It is a guideline for traveling to the east of Turkey, and provides an anthropological and ethnographic approach towards 15 provinces that are inhabited by the Kurds of Turkey.

In 2018, he completed his most recent study, A House on Water: A Comprehensive Study on Temporary Marriage and Sigheh Mahramiat wasreleased in both English and Farsi.  Kameel said about this book, “I discovered that a great number of children are married to other children, and to older men.”  Kameel was excited about this latest project on white marriage, which is about cohabitation.  He said, “Cohabitation is a new trend among the young men and women in Iran.  This type of relationship is illegal in Iran, and is hidden from the public.”  He added, “Some of the implications of this are that problems such as domestic and sexual violence, abuse, and abortion go unreported.”

In October 2018, Kameel traveled from Iran to Washington, D.C., after being nominated by an International Nominating Committee to receive the Global Woman Award in the Literary Category.  His journey to Washington, D.C. took him more than 18 hours, but he was still enthusiastic at the prospect of being nominated.  He said when he was notified of his nomination, “I will come to Washington, no matter how long it takes me, just to receive such an honor.”  Kameel won first place in the Literary Category for his work on gender, children and minority issues.  He delivered a moving acceptance speech that evening, by which many in the audience still remember him. 

Ahmady’s wife, Shafagh Rahmani told the Center for Human Rights, “I was traveling when Kameel was arrested.  I came back on Monday and on Tuesday I went to the court in Evin Prison to ask about his situation.”  She continued, “The judicial authorities did not respond to my questions.  They told me that his case had to do with national security and he was arrested by intelligence agents.”  Mr. Ahmady who works as an independent researcher and writer in Iran has always been transparent in everything he did.  His wife told the Human Rights Center, “I really don’t know why he was arrested. He had never been detained, summoned or threatened before.”  His wife continued, “They said a one-month detention order had been issued against him and it was probably going to be extended. I asked why my husband hadn’t called me yet. They said he would.”

According to the Human Rights Center, only a one-minute phone call from the Evin Prison had been allowed from Kameel since his detention on the 11th and no contact with his family.  His wife told the Center, “On August 13th, around 6:30 in the evening, Kameel called me,” she added. “He spoke just for a minute and said he was feeling fine and asked me to get him a lawyer. I need to be informed of my husband’s situation and his case. I want to see and speak to him.”  Kameel’s wife contends that all of her husband’s research work has been done and published independently with permission from the Islamic Guidance Ministry.

The news of Kameel’s arrest and detention has been equally disturbing and concerning for FGM advocates and activists here in the United States and other parts of the world.  His work in the interest of women, children and the youth is now on hold since he is detained.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation sends out an appeal, asking for the release of Kameel Ahmady (#freekameel) in order for him to continue the brilliant work that he does.  Prayers and thoughts continue to be expressed for Kameel and his family from colleagues around the world.   

2017 Awardee Tobe Levin, 2018 Awardee Kameel Ahmady

  Comments and questions to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call (703) 832-2642

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2019 Calendar

Save-these-Dates

  • IAC-USA Closing Ceremony of their Camp – Friday, August 23rd
  • Support Group Mobilized – Saturday, September 14th
  • GWPF 3rd Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, September 28th
  • Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 18th
  • Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 19th
  • Thanksgiving Feast / Support Group – Saturday, November 16th
  • GWPF Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 7th

We will update this 2019 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.


The education toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

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

LEEMAK YDAMHA (2 WORDS)

TSIGOLOPORHTNA

NAINARI

DETSERRA

DENIATED

Last Week’s Scrambled Words                      Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

RETNI NACIRFA EETTIMMOC                    INTER-AFRICAN COMMITTEE              

NOITACAV GNITTUC                                    VACATION CUTTING

SECNACAV SNAS NOISICXE                       VACANCES SANS EXCISION              

ODNOB YTEICOS                                           BONDO SOCIETY

GNISOLC YNOMEREC                                   CLOSING CEREMONY                      

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 2019: 

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program 
  • Volunteering  
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Health Insurance and Living Assistance
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Application
  • Adult Literacy Preparation
  • Grocery & Gasoline Assistance

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Survivor-only Support Group
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources

Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution
  • Scholarships to Girls in Africa

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

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

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program        703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program           703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness              703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                   800-994-9662

WITH 64 DAYS TO “WALK TO END FGM” LET’S REGISTER!!

The countdown is on!  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) kicks off its 6th annual Walk to End FGM scheduled for Saturday, October 19th on the Washington National Mall.  Started in 2014, Walk to End FGM is a 5K charity walk-A-thon against female genital mutilation (FGM).  FGM is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.  Most girls undergo FGM when they are between 5 and 15 years old.  Practiced for more than 5 centuries, FGM made its way to Europe, the U.K., Australia and North America due to the continuation of the practice. 

Mission and Purpose

The mission of our organization is to empower women and girls through education to eradicate gender based violence, with focus on female genital mutilation.  The purpose of the Walk to End FGM is to raise awareness about the practice of female genital mutilation and raise funds to support our programs.  The organization saw the need to educate and inform the public in the U.S. that this heinous and atrocious practice is not only a problem in Africa, Asia and the Middle East; that it is a problem of the world.

Proceeds

The proceeds raised from the Walk to End FGM are used to support the programs for the rehabilitation of FGM survivors and the prevention of FGM on girls.

Statistics

According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 500,000 girls in the U.S. are either at risk or are living with post-consequences of FGM.  The states known with the highest numbers are California (56,872), New York (48,418), Minnesota (44,293), Texas (33,087), Maryland (31,820) and Virginia (30,830).  The District of Columbia has approximately 4000 women and girls.  

Get Involved and Participate

  • Form a team and invite others to join your team and help raise funds
  • Join a team that is already formed
  • Register as an individual participant
  • 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

To volunteer, contact us at info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call 703-832-2642.  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.

Preparations for Vacances Sans Excision

This Saturday the Inter-African Committee-USA will hold their annual Vacances Sans Excision (Vacation or Summer without FGM).  This is the fifth year that the organization has held a special summer camp of West African cultural activities.  The message the camp sends is that children can have a summer full of fun and traditional activities without the presence of female genital mutilation (FGM).  Vacances Sans Excision translated from French to English is Vacation or Summer without Excision or FGM.  The U.S. branch of the Inter African Committee, more commonly known as IAC-USA on traditional practices, affecting the health of women and children has been successful for five consecutive years in bringing children together.  The summer camp teaches, not only children but parents alike of the alternatives to Vacation Cutting.  The camp will convene this Saturday, August 17th at 10:00am at the Black Hill Nature & Visitor Center, located at 20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, in the State of Maryland in the U.S.  This year’s theme is “Protecting Girls and their environment.  Girls can be initiated without mutilation.”

The purpose of Vacances Sans Excision is to demonstrate to both the parents and children that vacation can be spent full of fun and learning, without the lifetime trauma of excising girls.  In most female genital mutilation (FGM) practicing countries of the world, summer breaks are considered high season for performing FGM on girls. In search of finding an alternative to parents taking the girls to their countries of origin during the summer, IAC-USA implemented the idea of a special summer camp.

The children attending the camp on Saturday can look forward to a full day of games, traditional lessons, including dance, art, debates, discussions, and meals.  The curriculum was designed to demonstrate the importance of teaching children about their heritage; this includes necessary cultural traditions such as dance, dress, food, public speaking, and the arts.  The children will learn the importance of West African traditions without the practice of FGM.  The day is expected to begin with a traditional assembly of speeches and music, as the children shout the usual chant, “No FGM!”  They can expect to enjoy a mixture of delicious West African and American cuisine as children and parents alike get acquainted.     

Established in 2006 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, the mission of the IAC-USA is to promote the rights and well-being of women and children in at-risk immigrant communities, by bringing an end to harmful traditional practices through education, support, and encouragement of healthy traditional values.  It is part of a network of international organizations in several countries, partnering with the United Nations and local entities.  The organization endeavors to raise awareness of the continued predominance of century-old harmful practices that are carried out against women and children under the disguise of cultural traditions and religion.

According to their leadership, IAC-USA is dedicated to furthering the rights of immigrant women and girls to freedom from harmful traditional practices of their native countries and cultures.  This includes early forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and other violent and injurious practices, while promoting the adoption of beneficial traditions and rites of passage.

In countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the girls enter the society bush to go through the rite of passage to womanhood.  During their stay in the “bush”, they teach them to make baskets, cook meals, farming, how to be good wives and mothers, etc.  However baskets, meals and farming are not the only things the girls experience in the so-called “bush”; they also undergo FGM as part of the passage to womanhood.  FGM is an integral part of the marriage preparation in those countries.  Camp Vacances Sans Excision teaches girls all of the lessons learned in the Sande and Bondo Society Bushes, but without the ritualistic initiation cutting of their genitals.   

“Vacation Cutting” is when girls are taken to their parents’ countries of origin from either the United States or a European country for the purpose of having FGM performed on them.  In the year 2013, the U.S. amended the federal law to add Vacation Cutting; if anyone, including a parent, guardian or another adult takes a child from U.S. soil to another country for the purpose of having FGM performed on her will be subject to five-year imprisonment and a fine or greater.  Several U.S. States, such as Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Kansas, Nevada, and Michigan have included the ‘Vacation Cutting’ clause in their state laws, which include the crossing of state lines in the U.S.

On Friday, August 23rd, IAC-USA will hold a formal closing ceremony to wrap up the camp for this year.  Hosted by one of their partner-organizations, Vital Voices Global Partnership, they hope to bring several of their supporters and other partner-organizations together in the closing ceremony.  The Executive Director of IAC-USA, Fatoumata Kande said, “The Closing Ceremony will highlight our efforts and accomplishments to date and will provide the opportunity to inform a broader community in the U.S. and abroad of the work that still needs to be done.”  The closing ceremony will be held at 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest #300, Washington, D.C. 20036 at 3:00pm until 6:00pm.   

The Global Woman Newsletter has observed Camp Vacances Sans Excision grow for the past five years.  The parents and children alike enjoy this camp.  With five years under their belt, it is evident that Camp Vacances Sans Excision will be around for many future years, helping to protect girls and boys from harmful practices.   

Comments and questions to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or call (703) 832-2642

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2019

Your shopping makes a difference. Do your regular Amazon shopping at AmazonSmile and Amazon donates to Global Woman Peace Foundation.

In your charitable contributions and donations in 2019, 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, 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. 

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2019 Calendar

Save-these-Dates

  • Support Group / Vacances Sans Excision Camp – Saturday, August 17th
  • IAC-USA Closing Ceremony of their Camp – Friday, August 23rd
  • Support Group Mobilized – Saturday, September 14th
  • GWPF 3rd Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, September 28th
  • Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 18th
  • Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 19th
  • Thanksgiving Feast / Support Group – Saturday, November 16th
  • GWPF Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 7th

We will update this 2019 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.


The education toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

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

RETNI NACIRFA EETTIMMOC (3 WORDS)

NOITACAV GNITTUC (2 WORDS)

SECNACAV SNAS NOISICXE (3 FOREIGN WORDS)

ODNOB YTEICOS (2 WORDS)

GNISOLC YNOMEREC (2 WORDS)

Last Week’s Scrambled Words                      Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

ESNOPSER                                                       RESPONSE                          

IOUQASSAM                                                   MASSAQUOI

SEOZ                                                                 ZOES                         

YMOTCEDIROTILC                                       CLITORIDECTOMY

YMOTCEDAIBAL                                          LABIADECTOMY                          

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 2019: 

  • Donations (including in-kind donations) www.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program 
  • Volunteering  
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Health Insurance and Living Assistance
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Application
  • Adult Literacy Preparation
  • Grocery & Gasoline Assistance

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Survivor-only Support Group
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources

Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution
  • Scholarships to Girls in Africa

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

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

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program        703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program            703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness               703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                   800-994-9662

A Response to Both Sides of the Sande Society

Two weeks ago, Global Woman Newsletter ran an article titled, Both Sides of the Sande Society written by writer, Charles Massaquoi.  The Newsletter promised a response to that article.  The following is the response to that article.

Mr. Massaquoi stated in his article that the Sande secret society maintains an interest in the well-being of its members throughout their lives.  He further states that it promotes solidarity of its members.  How can the Sande have the well-being of its members at heart when such heinous crime is performed on the little girls?  And what solidarity does the Sande promote?  Is there an agreement to excise the private parts of little girls?   

The author wrote that girls spend their time in the Sande School learning how to be wives, how to farm, how to dance, and learn about sexual matters.  There is nothing wrong with learning how to dance or farm, or even how to be wives; however those girls need a great deal more than that to constructively shape their lives for the future.  What sexual matters do the girls learn?  If you read Mr. Massaquoi’s article from two weeks ago, you noticed he failed to mention the excision of the girls’ clitoris and labia.

Mr. Massaquoi wrote that the clitoridectomy and labiadectomy are performed by female specialists called “Zoes”.  He failed to mention that their so-called female specialists possess no medical experience whatsoever.  Some of them are old mid-wives who have delivered babies in their villages for many years, with absolutely no formal medical training.  The rate of infant and maternal mortalities in Liberia is by far higher than those of other countries in the world.  The reason is partly due to those inexperienced Zoes and partly because the expectant mothers had been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) when they were little girls. 

What a laugh to Mr. Massaquoi’s claim that in most African communities a “good” woman is a graduate from the Sande School.  The graduate must be young and a virgin, according to Massaquoi.  He boasts that his sister met all of those qualifications.  He wrote, “Marrying a young beautiful girl at the age of 18 was a blessing for the entire family.”  Mr. Massaquoi needs to wake up to reality.  There were countless of Liberian girls older than 18 years of age who were still virgins at the time of marriage, and they certainly were not graduates of the Sande School.  Exactly what constitutes a so-called “good” woman, Mr. Massaquoi; is it a woman with part of most of her genitalia missing?  Are you agreeing that all Liberian women who did not pass through the Sande School are not “good” women?  Your archaic article must have offended thousands of Liberian women who read it.  Mr. Massaquoi wrote, “Most men in Sierra Leone and Liberia prefer to marry women from the Sande Society. There is no doubt that the traditional school is a good place to find a serious partner for the future. Research has shown that the men who prefer Sande society graduates were serious about long-lasting relationship.”  Who are most men in Liberia and Sierra Leone to whom you referred when you wrote the above statement?  Many Liberian and Sierra Leonean men have come forward in recent years, to declare that they are totally against the practice of FGM, and they prefer women who have not experienced it.  Here are some statements from some of those men:  One husband said, “My wife is like a dead chickensleeping next to me.  She has no feelings” Another husband said, “I knew something was missing from my wife on our wedding night.”  A brother said of his sister, “I hurt for my sister because she has been married for so long and cannot have a child because of what happened to her as a child.”  Beside what these men had to say, there are the psychological problems the women who have survived FGM struggle with throughout their lives.  Most of them are confused as to why this atrocity was done to them.  Mr. Massaquoi, do they not explain to them in the Sande School why their external genitalia were being amputated?  The article mentioned that the girls are taught about sexual matters.  What sexual matters are they taught?  Do they tell them how painful their future sexual encounters will be, or that they might never conceive, or that their wedding night might feel like they are being raped?

Mr. Massaquoi said he disagrees with the notion that Africa is a male dominating continent.  He wrote, “It is misleading and most of all, unfounded.”  He also does not feel that there should be an end to the Sande Society practice in West Africa.  In his own words, he stated, “Asking the Zoes to abandon this age-old tradition is like telling someone to stop eating his or her favorite meal. As long the Zoes live, the organization will continue to influence the role of women in West Africa.”  What a comparison Mr. Massaquoi makes!  Comparing someone’s favorite meal to one of the most heinous and atrocious practices on little girls is absolutely preposterous, Mr. Massaquoi.  Know that your Zoes will be defeated by the rest of the world; they will not live forever.  Times have changed and continue to change, including for Liberia; men will stand up and continue to oppose the practice of amputating little girls’ genitalia.  The new generation of women are standing up and refusing to have FGM done to their daughters.    

Mr. Massaquoi wrote in his article, “The society (meaning Sande) symbolizes the power of African women.”  What power does the Sande Society render to a girl by amputating part or most of her genitalia?  The very act and process of what is done to the girls leave them helpless and powerless.  The girls are violently restrained, sat on, and as they kick and scream, your so-called Zoes take unsterilized instruments, without using any anaesthesia and unprofessionally excise parts of their genitalia.  Is that how the Sande Society bestow power to women?  Education is the key to a bright future or empowerment to a girl.  The education received from the Sande Society is certainly not what a girl needs for a bright future in today’s world.  Mr. Massaquoi agrees in his article, “Modern education prepares people to read and write. In the Sande Society there is the opposite. I think the time has come to re-examine the society’s role. I have relatives and friends who graduated from the Sande Society who cannot read or write.”

However Mr. Massaquoi did attest in his article that FGM and the Sande Society go hand in hand.  He declared, “It is difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of this time-tested tradition in Africa.”  Is it difficult to end FGM in Africa?  Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible.  Most FGM- practicing African countries have already banned the practice.  To date, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali are the only three African countries without a law against practicing FGM.  The strong hold of your Sande and Bondo Societies in both Liberia and Sierra Leone is mostly the reason for the hold-out of imposing a ban in those countries.  

Mr. Massaquoi admits, “Female circumcision is not only a tradition; it is today a source of income (especially for the Zoes). The more girls one circumcises, the more money one makes.”  He is absolutely correct in his prior statement; FGM has become more of a source of income in the Sande and Bondo Societies than a tradition.  The Zoes get handsomely paid by the parents and guardians for excising the girls.  It is business as usual as far as those so-called Zoes are concerned.  Giving Mr. Massaquoi some credit for ending his article sensibly and logically when he wrote, “Female circumcision is a crime against humanity. The people of Africa cannot allow this act to continue. It must be stopped now. It is time to educate those who are still promoting female circumcision that they must be more concerned about the health of their daughters than satisfying the egos of men.”  The preceding statement contradicts what Mr. Massaquoi covered in most of his article. 

Obviously Mr. Massaquoi grew up in a society and era that hailed the practice of FGM.  But he now resides in a country (Sweden) that disdains the practice of FGM, and enforces laws against it.  Perhaps it is his current country of residence that has the impact on him to admit that it is time to educate the parents, and teach them to concern themselves with the health of their girls as opposed to continuing an old-aged archaic practice.  

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Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2019 Calendar

Save-these-Dates

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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

ESNOPSER

IOUQASSAM

SEOZ

YMOTCEDIROTILC

YMOTCEDAIBAL

Last Week’s Scrambled Words                      Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

ODNOB YTEICOS                                           BONDO SOCIETY                 

EDNAS YTEICOS                                            SANDE SOCIETY

SEOZ                                                                 ZOES                         

NOISICMUCRIC                                               CIRCUMCISION

YMOTCEDIROTILC                                        CLITORIDECTOMY               

We give you five scrambled words each week.  We hope you enjoy playing.

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As Liberia Celebrates Her 172nd Natal Day…

Last Friday, July 26th marked the 172nd year since the Liberian Declaration of Independence was signed and that West African country celebrated its independence from the American Colonization Society. 

Some Liberians here in the U.S. busied themselves with plans and preparations for the celebration in observance of their independence day last Friday, and through the weekend.  But many Liberians in Liberia are facing destitution, due to lack of money and the lack of professional leadership.  What the Liberian President, George Weah should make a priority is the criminalization of female genital mutilation (FGM), or as they refer to it, female circumcision.  Some Liberians here in the Washington, D.C. area contended with warm temperature, and humidity at their 16th Street and Colorado Avenue Embassy grounds in Northwest Washington, garbed in colorful traditional attire. 

It was difficult to miss the performance of the cultural dancers, most especially the masked and grass skirted performers.  It reminded some Liberians of their childhood years in Liberia when the cultural and masked dancers went around from house to house performing.  They were some of the most frightful sights for children at that age and during that time.  One Liberian bystander said, “It terrified me when I watched the masked and grass skirted dancer, who started off as a short object on the ground, and suddenly it began to grow right before our eyes until it was a nine-foot giant.  It danced as it kicked up dirt, spinning vigorously.”  That scary dancing masked object was referred to as the “devil”.  Every Liberian child was fearful of the so-called “devil”.

As a girl in Liberia embraces womanhood, she discovers that female circumcision, the “devil” and the Poro and Sande Bush Societies are all interconnected.  The very “devil” children so dread actually belongs to the GreGre (Grebo) Bush, where little girls are taken to be circumcised (female genital mutilation).

Although some Liberian mothers only used the cultural “devil” to frighten their children into being obedient, they would never turn their girls over to the “devil” to have their genitals cut.  However there are indeed some Liberian mothers who actually take their daughters to the Sande Bush to have them experience FGM. 

So as Liberia proudly celebrated 172 years of being an independent Republic, one wonders if the hundreds of circumcisers (cutters) took a break from the Sande Bush of performing FGM last Friday and the weekend.  The children are out of school during this time of the year; and that means it is high season for the Sande Society Bush.  Did they close down the Sande Bush for a day to celebrate their independence last Friday?  They probably did indeed break for the celebrations; they became intoxicated, and returned to their blades this week.  After all, Friday was a national holiday in Liberia.  But did the women miss a day of making their living?  A circumciser can earn up to Five Hundred U.S. Dollars a day, depending on the number of girls she cuts. 

Liberia is still one of three countries in Africa that have remained stubborn to ban the practice of female genital mutilation.  Something that is little known about the practice of FGM in Liberia is that the people practicing it in that country tend to hide behind tradition and culture.  The initial purpose very well might have been based on tradition and culture; however tradition and culture have been overtaken by personal sustainability and livelihood.  Beside the circumcisers making their living by brutally cutting innocent little girls, the Liberian Legislature continues to uphold the legality of the practice of FGM in that country.  Organizations such as Equality Now and Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation have been relentless in urging the leaders of that country to ban the practice of FGM, to no avail.

The former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf made a last minute decision almost two years ago to sign an Executive Order to outlaw FGM.  However that Executive Order was only effective for twelve months from the time of her signature.  It was entirely to the discretion of her successor, George Weah to extend that Executive Order, and have his current Legislature and Senate fully pass it into law.  Mr. Weah failed to extend that Executive Order, which expired more than a year ago.  He would need his heavily populated Poro and Sande Society Legislature and Senate to pass the ban into law.  Keep in mind, it was the same Legislature and Senate with whom Johnson-Sirleaf struggled, and was not successful in getting the FGM bill passed during her administration.  Mr. Weah, what are you doing about this atrocious practice in your country?  As long as the Liberian Senate and Legislature are saturated with members of the Poro and Sande Societies, it will always be a struggle, regardless of who sits in the Presidential Mansion.         

In addition to the economical purpose of the practice of FGM, there is also the dark, demonic ritualistic practice which the Sande and Poro Society Bushes carry out.  There is a far deeper meaning to the shedding of blood by the girls and the rituals of what is done with the excised parts of the girls.  This is why they do not want the girls to divulge their experiences to anyone when they leave the Sande Bush.  There is a great deal of deeply rooted secrecy in the Sande Bush, which the Western World does not know, and those to whom it is known do not understand.

A statement issued by the Liberian Associations around the world to their President Weah, demanding the ban on the practice of FGM would have been far more impressive during the Independence Day celebrations.  For some Liberians in the diaspora, it was difficult to wholeheartedly celebrate the 172nd year of the signing of their country’s Declaration of Independence.   Why celebrate when little girls live in fear of being cut in the Sande Bush?  Why are you celebrating when little girls are losing their trust in adults and their leaders because they live in a country without a law that protects them against FGM and other harmful cultural practices?  Why celebrate when many Liberian girls in puberty cannot afford a simple thing like sanitary pads?  Why are Liberians celebrating when girls are subjected to sexual assault, hunger, child marriage, child prostitution, female genital mutilation and a myriad of other harmful practices in that country?  Why wasn’t Johnson-Sirleaf’s Executive Order extended and executed?  Are there logical answers to these questions?  Does President Weah have the answers to those questions? 

This is an appeal to the Leadership of Liberia, including George Weah, that they must seriously consider placing a ban on the practice of FGM in that country.  Liberians have a traditional phrase they express to each other on their day of independence.  They say, “My 26 is on you”, which indicates that they want a gift from you for their 26th Day Independence.  So as you recover from your days of independence celebration, please think long and hard and consider putting the safety of girls before the demonic practices in Liberia.  Now, that is the 26th that is on you, George Weah and the rest of the Liberian Leadership.         

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