Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Our Goals

Ensure the implementation of FGM laws at national, regional and international levels.

In countries where FGM is practiced but not banned, lobby for laws against it.

Support and amplify the efforts of grassroots activists working to end FGM.

Campaigns

Egypt: Enforce the anti-FGM law and ensure justice for Soheir-Al-Batea

Through our Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund, Equality Now became involved in the case of 13-year-old Soheir -Al-Batea who died after being subjected to FGM in a health clinic at the request of her father.

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Indonesia: End government legitimization of FGM

Equality Now and our partner Kalyanamitra sent a joint submission to the UN Human Rights Committe(HRC), which reviewed Indonesia in July 2013, to bring the Committee’s attention to the ongoing government legitimization of the practice in Indonesia.

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Kenya: Strengthen a child protection model to keep girls safe from FGM

Equality Now is supporting the efforts of our partner, the Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI), to bring families, teachers, police, doctors, local governments and community leaders together to educate and provide training to deter FGM in Maasai communities, and to provide safe havens for girls.

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Liberia/Mali: Establish a law banning FGM

In our ongoing case, conducted in partnership with the Women of Liberia Peace Network (WOLPNET) and Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL), a judge dismissed the appeal of the two Sande female secret society members who had forcibly mutilated Ruth Berry Peale in Liberia in 2010, and ordered their arrest.

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UK: Develop and implement an inclusive strategy to end FGM

Equality Now is working with our large network of partners to implement systems to educate and train anyone in regular contact with children on their obligation to safeguard children from FGM.

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Testimonials

Agnes Pareyio Founder & Coordinator: Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI), Narok, Kenya

It’s a privilege partnering with Equality Now and I look forward to continuing to work with them to make sure that the communities that practice FGM are made aware of the existing laws that protect women and girls.

I have personally enjoyed working with Equality Now because they are reliable partners. The partnership has opened many avenues for TNI to reach out to the community and spread the anti-FGM message; we have seen the lives of young women and girls transformed. Men, who are the decision makers in the community, are now appreciating that girls can graduate into adulthood without the cut through our alternative rites of passage ceremonies. Parents are now willingly bringing their daughters for the ceremonies. Girls are also coming to understand their rights, for example, to education, which has led to an increased number of girls running away from the practice of FGM. When they are in danger they know where to find safety because of the newly formed anti-FGM network for professionals. Through Equality Now, I have been able to attend forums and workshops where I have shared ideas and experiences with other like-minded organizations. The experience has enabled our organization to capitalize on its strengths and work on improving its weaknesses.

TNI runs the Tasaru Rescue Centre, a haven for girls in Maasai communities escaping FGM, child marriage and other forms of abuse often spread through traditional cultural practices. Equality Now has been working with TNI to strengthen a child protection model that brings police, parents, local governments and community leaders together to build a strong support base to protect girls and keep families together. Agnes’ work to end harmful traditional practices dates back to the 1990s.

Mariam Suleiman CEO: Women Rights Institute for Peace (WRIP) Eldoret, Kenya

The partnership between me, WRIP, Equality Now and now moving to incorporate county governments is one of the momentous events that have happened in my life. Long live Equality Now.

I have worked with Equality Now on anti-FGM initiatives since 2000 and we have made significant legal milestones in the fight against FGM since then. Cases we worked on together have become known worldwide, spurred debate locally and contributed to the government enacting the Children Act (2001) which contains provisions outlawing FGM. These historic cases, which continue to be quoted nationally and internationally, were made possible with support from Equality Now.

When I, and girls who were beneficiaries of the court cases, formed WRIP in 2008, Equality Now partnered with us, enabling us to train regional anti-FGM monitors who have been critical in reporting and campaigning against the practice. In 2013, Equality Now’s support allowed us to shelter girls in Baringo who refused to go home for school holidays for fear of being cut. Most of them are back to school and the ensuing media reports prodded the county government and regional political officials to begin debate on how to address FGM as a development issue, locally. Indeed our partnership has been a blessing that has seen milestones on the road to the elimination of FGM.

Mariam Suleiman co-founded WRIP in 2008 in the aftermath of Kenya’s post-election violence. .
WRIPs core mandate and vision is to ensure that no girl is subjected to FGM and that all girls and women are