Entire Region of Southern Senegal Abandons Female Genital CuttingFebruary 5, 2013 by Sally Farhat Kassab
Since tomorrow is the United Nations International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, held each Feb. 6 since 2003, we wanted to share some Tostan news with you.
On January 20, 2013 in Ziguinchor, a region of southern Senegal, there was a very large public declaration for the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage by 427 communities. (See video above). This was the first-ever regional public declaration in Senegal. It is framed as part of the government plan toward Senegal-wide abandonment of FGC.
Today at 9:30 a.m. EST, Gannon Gillespie, Tostan’s Director of Strategic Development, was interviewed for Voice of America’s Health Chat.
Tomorrow, at 7:45 a.m. EST, Skoll Awardee Molly Melching, Tostan’s Founder and Executive Director, will participate in a Google+ Hangout to discuss progress. Other speakers include Lynne Featherstone, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development and Champion for the elimination of violence against women; Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA; Dr. Atef El Shitany, Rapporteur of the National Population Council, Egypt, and Janet Tumer, Young Il Shamus activist and FGM/C survivor, Kenya. To RSVP: http://bit.ly/WGlrCa To submit a question, tweet #endFGM to @UNFPA, @UNICEFprotects, @DFID_UK and @INTACTnetwork
Also tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m. EST, Bacary Tamba, Regional Coordinator of Tostan’s programs in Ziguinchor, Senegal will participate in a discussion chaired by Melanne Verveer, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues to commemorate the ‘Tenth Anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Cutting’.
Bacary will talk about best practices for community engagement to address the practice of FGC and how Tostan has been able to engage with stakeholders across all levels, he is joining H.E. Amina Salum Ali, Ambassador of the African Union to the United States; Dr Nawal Nour, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA; Mae Azango, Journalist and Activist, Liberia; and Jessie Hexpoor, Hivos, Netherlands.
On Feb. 7 at 10:15 a.m. EST, Tamba, will participate in the NGO Relations Cluster of the Department of Public Information briefing about FGC at the UN Headquarters in New York where he will give a presentation to NGO representatives and their guests on Tostan’s work in Africa and the FGC abandonment movement.