Skoll Foundation


Tostan News, Including Photos from Guinea-Bissau Declarations

December 27, 2012 by

In the last month, lots has happened in the world of female genital cutting, or FGC. A United Nations Committee has called for a ban on it.

144 communities in Guinea-Bissau publicly declared their abandonment of it. And we announced Molly Melching’s upcoming book, However Long the Night, which goes on sale in April 2013. In her Financial Times magazine piece, Sally Osberg talked about Melching’s work.

We wanted to share some of the most recent stories and photos from Tostan, on their coverage of the Guinea-Bissau declarations. An excerpt: 
“Talk about FGC and child/forced marriage figured heavily into the speeches made at the declaration. The imam of the nearby village of Sintcham Tchali spoke about how the abandonment of the practice was a great thing for his community as it removed a form of violence against girls. “There is no religious justification for FGC,” the imam explained.

Muso Bâ Seidi was a cutter for most of her adult life and believed that she was carrying out an important function for the girls of her village. When she learned that FGC had played a role in harming girl’s health, she was horrified. Muso has since become a major grassroots advocate for ending the practice. She is a regular guest on the local radio station, talking about how FGC is harmful and publicly apologizing to everyone she had cut. ‘FGC ends here! I will bring you my knife, and together we will bury it in the ground!’ she said at the declaration.”

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