Female Genital Mutilation Survivors In The U.S. Are Fighting Back

When Jane was about 9, her mother drove her and her friend to a Houston strip mall. She told Jane there was something dirty on their bodies that needed to be cleaned. There, in an empty room, a woman subjected them to female genital mutilation.

“I remember feeling pain for a good three weeks after that. I was continuously bleeding, it hurt to use the restroom,” Jane, who is now 28, said. “It was never something that was discussed even after it happened.”

Jane, who spoke anonymously to protect her family’s identity, is one of a growing number of American survivors breaking the silence on the centuries-old practice of FGM. Despite reports of FGM being performed on Americans, in December a Michigan district judge struck down a federal ban on the practice, leaving girls in many states at increased risk. In April, President Trump’s Department of Justice ignited outrage by declining to appeal the case.

VICE News talks to survivors turned activists about how they are advocating for change and providing safe spaces for others like them.

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Former ‘cutters’ re-enact FGM ceremony to highlight dangers

February 6th marks the sixth International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, or female genital mutilation. FGM has been outlawed in Uganda since 2010, but some remote communities in Karamoja, in the northwest of the country, still practice it in secret. The UN Population Fund and UNICEF are working with local NGO’s and community leaders to try to stamp out FGM in Uganda altogether.

Eve of Sixth International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM

On the eve of the sixth International Day of Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation, in Uganda’s Sebei district, local elders and young people re-enact a circumcision ceremony to help highlight the dangers of the practice, while former ‘cutters’ in Amudat district show some of the tools that they used to use before giving up the practice. Uganda outlawed the practice in 2010 but some remote communities in the north of the country still practice it in secret.

Hopes of banning FGM in Liberia fade ahead of election

Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf battled unsuccessfully to ban female genital mutilation during her 12-years as Africa’s first female president, and now as she prepares to step down ahead of Tuesday’s general election, it’s feared hopes of outlawing the practice will fade too.REFILE TO CLARIFY THAT ESTHER DID NOT GROW UP IN THE VILLAGE WHERE SHE NOW LIVES

Hopes of banning FGM in Liberia fade ahead of election

Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf battled unsuccessfully to ban female genital mutilation during her 12-years as Africa’s first female president, and now as she prepares to step down ahead of Tuesday’s general election, it’s feared hopes of outlawing the practice will fade too.

On The Line: Claire Ward Discusses Female Circumcision

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Claire Ward joined On The Line to answer your questions about her piece, “Reversing Female Circumcision: The Cut That Heals”: http://bit.ly/1L2ZoOI

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a cultural tradition that affects millions of women worldwide. Sometimes referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting, FGM can have life-long complications.

Claire Ward went inside Dr. Marci Bowers’ operating room in San Mateo, California to report on a little-known surgery that restores sexual function to the clitoris and follow one woman’s healing journey: http://bit.ly/1FSOAlk

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On The Line: Claire Ward Discusses Female Circumcision (Trailer)

On Thursday at 12pm EDT Claire will join ‘On The Line’ to answer your questions about her piece, “Reversing Female Circumcision: The Cut That Heals.” – http://bit.ly/1L2ZoOI

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a cultural tradition that affects millions of women worldwide. Sometimes referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting, FGM can have life-long complications.

Claire Ward went inside Dr. Marci Bowers’ operating room in San Mateo, California to report on a little-known surgery that restores sexual function to the clitoris and follow one woman’s healing journey – http://bit.ly/1FSOAlk

VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions for Claire on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype.

To leave a Skype video message, follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/1Fpn9lC

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Performing Surgery to Reverse FGM (Excerpt from ‘The Cut That Heals’)

VICE News reports on a little-known surgery that restores sexual function to the clitoris for women who had their genitals mutilated as children. We meet and follow a 32-year-old prospective patient who was mutilated at the age of six in Somalia, and who now lives and works as a nurse in the United States.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a cultural tradition that affects millions of women worldwide. Sometimes referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting, the practice varies in severity depending on where it is performed. The procedure can range from minor nicks to the clitoris to the total removal of the clitoris and labia. In its severest form, the two sides of the vulva are sewn together, leaving only a small hole for menstruation and urination.

While the practice has been outlawed in many of the 29 countries where FGM is concentrated, it persists in some rural areas as a centuries-old cultural tradition, where it is usually performed by women elders as a part of a coming-of-age ritual. The tradition is sometimes believed to “purify” a woman and performed to preserve virginity before marriage.

The World Health Organization estimates that some 6,000 girls undergo FGM around the world every day. The procedure is often performed in unsafe and unsanitary conditions on girls between the ages of four and 12. FGM can be fatal, and can lead to immediate complications such as infections and urine retention, as well as long-term complications such as severe pain and tearing during intercourse and major complications during childbirth.

In this excerpt, VICE News saw the result of the severest form of FGM firsthand in Dr. Marci Bowers’ operating room in San Mateo, California, and watched as she performed a defibulation procedure — the re-opening of genitalia that had been sewn shut — and clitoroplasty, the reconstruction and restoration of sexual function to the clitoris.

Watch “Reversing Female Circumcision: The Cut That Heals” – http://bit.ly/1L2ZoOI

Read “After Genital Cutting in Somalia, a Woman Chooses Reconstructive Surgery in America” – http://bit.ly/1FSOAlk

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Reversing Female Circumcision: The Cut That Heals

On the International Day for Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, VICE News reports on a little-known surgery that restores sexual function to the clitoris for women who had their genitals mutilated as children. We meet and follow a 32-year-old prospective patient who was mutilated at the age of six in Somalia, and who now lives and works as a nurse in the United States.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a cultural tradition that affects millions of women worldwide. Sometimes referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting, the practice varies in severity depending on where it is performed. The procedure can range from minor nicks to the clitoris to the total removal of the clitoris and labia. In its severest form, the two sides of the vulva are sewn together, leaving only a small hole for menstruation and urination.

While the practice has been outlawed in many of the 29 countries where FGM is concentrated, it persists in some rural areas as a centuries-old cultural tradition, where it is usually performed by women elders as a part of a coming-of-age ritual. The tradition is sometimes believed to “purify” a woman and performed to preserve virginity before marriage.

The World Health Organization estimates that some 6,000 girls undergo FGM around the world every day. The procedure is often performed in unsafe and unsanitary conditions on girls between the ages of four and 12. FGM can be fatal, and can lead to immediate complications such as infections and urine retention, as well as long-term complications such as severe pain and tearing during intercourse and major complications during childbirth.

VICE News saw the result of the severest form of FGM first-hand in Dr. Marci Bowers’ operating room in San Mateo, California, and watched as she performed a defibulation procedure — the re-opening of genitalia that had been sewn shut — and clitoroplasty, the reconstruction and restoration of sexual function to the clitoris.

Read “After Genital Cutting in Somalia, a Woman Chooses Reconstructive Surgery in America” – http://bit.ly/1D5WUOJ

Read “Thousands of FGM Cases Identified in UK Are Just the ‘Tip of the Iceberg'” – http://bit.ly/1z76Rp7

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Reversing Female Circumcision: The Cut That Heals (Trailer)

On the International Day for Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, VICE News reports on a little-known surgery that restores sexual function to the clitoris for women who had their genitals mutilated as children. We meet and follow a 32-year-old prospective patient who was mutilated at the age of six in Somalia, and who now lives and works as a nurse in the United States.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a cultural tradition that affects millions of women worldwide. Sometimes referred to as female circumcision or female genital cutting, the practice varies in severity depending on where it is performed. The procedure can range from minor nicks to the clitoris to the total removal of the clitoris and labia. In its severest form, the two sides of the vulva are sewn together, leaving only a small hole for menstruation and urination.

While the practice has been outlawed in many of the 29 countries where FGM is concentrated, it persists in some rural areas as a centuries-old cultural tradition, where it is usually performed by women elders as a part of a coming-of-age ritual. The tradition is sometimes believed to “purify” a woman and performed to preserve virginity before marriage.

The World Health Organization estimates that some 6,000 girls undergo FGM around the world every day. The procedure is often performed in unsafe and unsanitary conditions on girls between the ages of four and 12. FGM can be fatal, and can lead to immediate complications such as infections and urine retention, as well as long-term complications such as severe pain and tearing during intercourse and major complications during childbirth.

VICE News saw the result of the severest form of FGM first-hand in Dr. Marci Bowers’ operating room in San Mateo, California, and watched as she performed a defibulation procedure — the re-opening of genitalia that had been sewn shut — and clitoroplasty, the reconstruction and restoration of sexual function to the clitoris.

Watch “Blood Diamonds and Religious War: Diamonds and Division” – http://bit.ly/1zYdmRq

Read “Thousands of FGM Cases Identified in UK Are Just the ‘Tip of the Iceberg'” – http://bit.ly/1z76Rp7

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