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How You Can Help Put an End to Female Genital Mutilation

The World Health Organization defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” It’s a significant problem that affects an estimated 200 million girls worldwide.

Complications from the procedure are serious. So serious, in fact, that they can even result in death. But even if the victim doesn’t die, she is still at risk for developing infections and urinary issues. That’s not to mention the lifelong trauma she’s likely to suffer from due to the excruciating amount of pain (these procedures are seldom performed under anesthesia).

Keep in mind that these procedures offer zero health-related benefits. They are only performed due to cultural beliefs surrounding female sexuality.

One of the pervading beliefs is that removing a woman’s clitoris will lower her libido, thus discouraging her from engaging in sexual acts. Another popular belief is that FGM increases a woman’s marriageability. Some cultures even believe that FGM should be practiced for religious reasons, despite the fact that it is not mentioned in any religious texts.

Girls aged 0-15 are considered most at-risk, even though older girls can be forced into undergoing the procedure as well. A lot of victims are as young as 8-days-old.

Fortunately, there are numerous organizations that are working hard to combat this problem. Top organization include: FORWARD, 28 Too Many, and Equality Now. Activists are working ‘round-the-clock to dismantle the practice by educating women and men about the risks of female circumcision. Even medical doctors are finally taking a stance by letting the public know that FGM does not offer any health-related benefits.

Slowly but surely, these anti-FGM campaigns are working. Mary Wandia, Manager of Equality Now’s End Female Genital Mutilation Programme, says that, “Evidence in several countries shows that many men and women believe the practice should end, suggesting a promising window of opportunity for change.”

But this type of change would never be possible without the generous donations of concerned citizens, so please donate today.

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5 Anti-Trafficking Charities

5 Anti-Trafficking Charities
800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year (Source).
IMG: via Shutterstock

The case of the five- or six-year-old Maria from Greece has brought into the limelight the unfortunate issue of child trafficking. Maria was found living in a Roma camp in central Greece last Thursday when police raided the camp in search of drugs. Maria, blue-eyed and blonde-haired didn’t resemble the couple she was with.

Maria has been confirmed to not be biologically related to the couple, who also had false registration papers for the girl. Now police have charged the couple, who claim she was informally adopted, with abduction and are seeking Maria’s biological parents.

Whether or not this is truly a case of child abduction remains to be seen. What has been brought into the limelight, however, is the issue of child trafficking within Greece. The country is working to tighten regulations and find a way to make the current system less problematic. Happily, there are many great nonprofits that are working to stop trafficking around the world:

American Jewish World Service—This organization works “to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world,” fighting to preserve health and human rights for all, eradicate oppression, and secure access to resources needed to survive.

East Meets West—This group is working “to transform the health, education and communities of disadvantaged people in Asia by building partnerships, developing opportunities and creating sustainable solutions.”

Equality Now—“Equality Now is an organization that advocates for the human rights of women and girls around the world by raising international visibility of individual cases of abuse, mobilizing public support through our global membership, and wielding strategic political pressure to ensure that governments enact or enforce laws and policies that uphold the rights of women and girls.”

Free the Slaves—Human trafficking is often referred to as “modern-day slavery,” which is exactly what Free the Slaves is working to end. This group believes that all people have a right to their freedom, and everything they do is measured by asking the question of whether it will help free and keep free the slaves.

Human Rights Watch—Dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, Human Rights Watch fights to protect and free the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable.