Sanctuary for Families Celebrates International Women's Day with Release of New Report on Female Genital Mutilation
“When I was 16, my father told me that ‘the world is far beyond America,’ and that he had arranged for me and my little sister to travel with a family friend back to Gambia, his country of origin, during our time off from school. When we arrived, my grandmother greeted us warmly…and explained that FGM would remove ‘unclean’ body parts that were susceptible to disease. She warned us that if we refused to undergo FGM, she would be disappointed in us, and that the entire village would find out and force FGM upon us against our will.”
– Kadiatou, 27, Sanctuary client & FGM survivor
Throughout the United States, over 150,000 girls and young women are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM). Like Kadiatou, many of these girls will experience FGM by way of “vacation cutting,” which occurs when young women are sent abroad to their families’ ancestral villages to undergo this brutal procedure.
In honor of International Women’s Day, this morning Sanctuary for Families held a press conference with FGM survivors and advocates, along with Congressman Joe Crowley, to highlight the release of Sanctuary’s new report, “Female Genital Mutilation in the United States: Protecting Girls and Women in the U.S. from FGM and Vacation cutting,” and call for increased outreach and education around FGM and vacation cutting.
Our thanks to all who participated as speakers, organizers, and attendees at the press conference.
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