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October 11, 2020 71 min

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice decided to drop the appeal on a 2018 Detroit ruling that overturned the federal ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  

For girls at risk of FGM, this federal ruling has put them in great jeopardy because it sent a signal to supporters of FGM that the practice is allowed, and the violence against girls, mostly around 7-8 years old in age continues. Therefore, it’s up to the states to outlaw the practice. 

What is female genital mutilation? Why is it practiced? How prevalent is it really? 

FGM is a human rights issue and is a form of gender-based violence and sexual violence against children. And it does not just happen in “other countries” or specific religions. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 513,000 women and girls have undergone or are at risk of FGM in the United States, including girls in families of both Christian and Muslim faiths. Survivors of this horrifying practice rarely come forward due to the taboo nature of the practice and the backlash survivors endure at the hands of their own family and community. The practice is not about religion but about upholding patriarchy and is misogynistic control over women and girls. 

On this episode, Ameé speaks with Maryum Saifee, a former U.S. Diplomat, FGM survivor and advocate who is speaking out against the practice of female genital mutilation. And in her words, FGM is simply child sexual assault with a sharp object and conversations need to be had to normalize talking about it so that the practice can be stopped.

Sign the Petition to make Female Genital Mutilation illegal in Washington State:




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