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Revolutionising social norms: The UN Commission on the Status of Women

International Development minister Lindsay Northover reads the UK statement at the UN General Assembly room. Picture: Sheena Ariyapala/DFID

Last week was my first visit to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), an annual event that has been held at the UN since 1946. Over 100 ministers and 8000 civil society advocates attended, with events ranging from …

Ending female genital cutting in our lifetime

A declaration being read at the abandonment ceremony in Mali last year. Picture: Orchid Project

“I feel more and more that I am no longer alone and that the entire world is supporting me.” – Mah Cissé A year ago, 14 communities in Bamako, Mali, declared an end to Female Genital Cutting (FGC). Mah Cissé, …

End FGM – using Thunderclap to get the message across

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital for Development, Female Genital Mutilation
Zero Tolerance towards Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)

BBC6 Music DJ and broadcaster Lauren Laverne joined thousands in DFID's successful social media "Thunderclap" earlier this month, culminating in a message of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation (FGM) message being sent out to millions of accounts. Around 1200 people …

An African-led movement for change

23- year-old Adjura, who was cut when she was a child, had a reversal operation in 2009. Picture: Jessica Lea/DFID

What do you get when you combine a vibrant First Lady, a country in which most women have undergone female genital mutilation and many are facing health problems and complications in pregnancy, and funding from donor countries to support a …

BBC’s Casualty shows female genital mutilation for what it is - violence against girls and women

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Development Debates, Female Genital Mutilation

In 2010, two British survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) and I started a charity called Daughters of Eve in order to mainstream the issue and change how it is addressed.  FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since …

Ending violence against women is possible: a report from the UN

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Development Debates, Female Genital Mutilation, Girls & Women

Defending any form of gender-based violence (GBV) on the basis of tradition, culture or religion is no longer an option. Certainly, this is one of the strongest messages to emerge from this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) …