According to an announcement from Women Make Movies:
“Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater’s stirring film, MRS. GOUNDO’S DAUGHTER, will premiere nationally on AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, on PBS, February 9, in honor of the United Nation’s International Day of Zero Tolerance to end Female Genital Mutilation (February 6).
The film tells the story of one mother’s fight for political asylum in the United States in order to protect her daughter from the traditional practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and the legal ramifications of doing so.”
- Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
- The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
- Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths.
- An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
- It is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15 years.
- In Africa an estimated 92 million girls from 10 years of age and above have undergone FGM.
- FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
There are few who have addressed this issue publicly due to the social and cultural stigma attached to those still practicing FGM and those who feel pressure from their communities to have their daughters go through an often unsanitary and traumatic experience that plagues girls and women for the rest of their lives.
the United Nations Population Fund claims that, “Female genital mutilation, or cutting, predates Christianity and Islam – it is thought to have originated in the time of the pharaohs,” but there’s no concrete evidence of this. What is true is that FGM is a social practice –not a religious one– and it is practiced in primarily Muslim countries or in immigrant Muslim communities including in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
More about Female Genital Mutilation:
- UNICEF – http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_genitalmutilation.html
- United Nations’ Newsletter “Africa Recovery/Renewal” – http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/vol17no1/171wm1.htm
- Integrated Regional Information News Network: “Ethiopia: Pastoralists Fighting Against FGM” – http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=91732
- International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics: “Mauritania Pledges to Stop Female Genital Mutilation”, January 24, 2011 – http://www.figo.org/news/mauritania-pledges-stop-female-genital-mutilation-003226