United States: New York Comes Together to Fight Female Genital Mutilation
Thursday, September 13, 2012 9:15 AM

In response to the story of Kadidia Makannera, a young girl from Harlem that was subjected to female genital mutilation by her grandmother, New Yorkers will come together for a walkathon to end female genital mutilation (FGM). The event, organized by the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation, will take place in Riverside Park on Sept. 15. Survivors will speak to the community about the horrors girls endure through FGM.
Makannera joins the growing number of girls and women in the United States who have experienced FGM or are at risk of it. In 2000 in the New York metro area alone, 40,813 females fell into that category. While many girls experience FGM within the borders of the United States, some are taken to Africa or other countries where the practice is more widespread. In addition to raising funds to promote eradication of FGM, the walkathon will spread the word about The Girl Protection Act of 2011, a recent bill introduced into Congress that would make it illegal to send a girl to another country to undergo genital mutilation.
The World Health Organization estimates that the risks of FGM are high and can include complications with pregnancies later in life. Despite the fact that the medical and psychological risks are well known in the United States, New York is one of only 17 states that specifically outlaw the practice, and there is an urgent need for better enforcement.
Compiled from: Odigie, Adesua, “New Yorkers Walk to End Ritual Cutting of Girls,” Women’s eNews (12 September 2012).