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Know Safa Idriss Nour (then & now)

Super model Waris Dirie Somali model insisted Safa Idriss Nour, the child who played her suffering FGM in biopic, had to be spared the same fate

When she was three years old, Safa Idriss Nour received something no girl in her slum in Djibouti had been given before – a signed contract from her parents stating they would never inflict genital mutilation on her.

In Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, an estimated 98% of girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), a procedure that usually involves cutting off the clitoris and some of the labia, so this was a remarkable event. Equally remarkable is the story of how Nour came to get the contract and, indeed, of her battle to ensure that her parents stuck to the terms of the deal.

Nour starred in a film adaptation of Desert Flower, the international bestselling autobiography by Somali model and anti-FGM activist Waris Dirie. Published in 1997, her first book follows Dirie from her birth into a nomadic family in Somalia – from whom she fled, aged 13, after her father attempted to marry her to a 60-year-old man – to her becoming an international supermodel.

In 2007, Nour was asked to play the young Dirie as she undergoes FGM – on condition that her parents sign a contract agreeing never to perform the same ritualistic operation on her (keep reading)

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“In my village there is one girl who is younger than I am who has not been cut because I discussed the issue with her parents. I told them how much the operation had hurt me, how it had traumatized me and made me not trust my own parents. They decided that they did not want this to happen to their daughter.”

Meaza was 10 when she was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). She now campaigns to protect other girls from this harmful practice. FGM is declining in Ethiopia and many countries around the world, but still too many girls are at risk. We must do more.

Meaza is inspiration that by speaking up to say NO to this harmful practice, we can change attitudes and change girls’ lives. Add your voice: http://uni.cf/GS14

"If I were president, I would help the most vulnerable."

The Guardian interviewed eight girls from around the world, asking them about their hopes and dreams for the future. One girl, Ana from Peru, aspires to be a psychologist; another, Caro from Kenya, dreams of becoming a journalist. Many of the girls also revealed deep-seated desires to create positive change in society. Muskan from Pakistan promises to “wipe out terrorism” if she were to become president, while Cindy from Rwanda “would help the most vulnerable and marginalized, and people with HIV.”

Learn more about these girls via The Guardian

Today, we launch a new report about female genital mutilation/cutting that looks at data from 29 countries over the past 20 years. Our main finding? Overall, support for the practice is declining - even in countries where FGM/C is widespread, such as Egypt and Sudan.

But there is still work to be done! In a few countries, the proportion of girls and women who want FGM/C to continue has remained constant.

Learn more:
Video: http://youtu.be/Pjy8jRRGHcU
Story: http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_69881.html
Document: http://www.scribd.com/doc/155341977/Female-Genital-Mutilation-Cutting-A-statistical-overview-and-exploration-of-the-dynamics-of-change

ppl who compare circumcision to female genital mutilation need to stop

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

fgm is a form of oppression and has zip zero benefits

FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.

Immediate complications can include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage (bleeding), tetanus or sepsis (bacterial infection), urine retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital tissue.

Long-term consequences can include:

  • recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections;
  • cysts;
  • infertility;
  • an increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths;
  • the need for later surgeries. For example, the FGM procedure that seals or narrows a vaginal opening (type 3 above) needs to be cut open later to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth. Sometimes it is stitched again several times, including after childbirth, hence the woman goes through repeated opening and closing procedures, further increasing and repeated both immediate and long-term risks.

whereas circumcision…

Circumcision might have various health benefits, including:

  • Easier hygiene. Circumcision makes it simpler to wash the penis. Washing beneath the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis is generally easy, however.
  • Decreased risk of urinary tract infections. The overall risk of urinary tract infections in males is low, but these infections are more common in uncircumcised males. Severe infections early in life can lead to kidney problems later on.
  • Decreased risk of sexually transmitted infections. Circumcised men might have a lower risk of certain sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Still, safe sexual practices remain essential.
  • Prevention of penile problems. Occasionally, the foreskin on an uncircumcised penis can be difficult or impossible to retract (phimosis). This can lead to inflammation of the foreskin or head of the penis.
  • Decreased risk of penile cancer. Although cancer of the penis is rare, it’s less common in circumcised men. In addition, cervical cancer is less common in the female sexual partners of circumcised men.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/circumcision/MY01023/DSECTION=why-its-done

also

Circumcision doesn’t affect fertility, nor is circumcision generally thought to enhance or detract from sexual pleasure for men or their partners.

please educate yourself before you open your mouth

checkmate, MRAs

image

16-year-old Alvina Noel died giving birth several days after she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). In an effort to crack down on the practice, Kenya has launched a hotline to rescue girls from FGM and child marriages, as well as a prosecution unit to prosecute the crimes.

Christine Nanjala, head of the anti-FGM prosecution unit hopes the hotline will speed up the department’s work. “The line is on 24-7,” said Nanjala. “Any time you make a report, (a staff member) will attend to it, document it and then we react.” 

The unit has already charged two guardians with the murder of a 13-year-old Maasai girl who bled to death in April after being cut and is also investigating Alvina’s death.

Read more via Thomson Reuters Foundationhttp://tmsnrt.rs/Z8LQQZ

Former supermodel Waris Dirie has opened the Desert Flower Medical Center in Berlin, German, to offer reconstructive surgery and psychological help to women who have had to undergo female genital mutilation, as she did when she was a four-year-old girl in Somalia. An estimated 8,000 young girls undergo FGM daily in Africa and the Middle East. The clinic, which bears the same name as the Desert Flower book and movie that tells Waris’s story, is a pilot for other planned facilities in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. 

 

Kudos to Waris for her efforts to combat FGM and bring help to those in need! Learn more.

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