A note from Joelle...
Today, I want to let you know about a really disturbing practise that has been banned in many countries, but it is still going on in others.
Female genital mutilation involves mutilating female genitalia (usually on girls between the ages or 4 and 12).
Just imagine a toddler or very young girl going through something like that? It is gut-wrenching stuff.
Not only is is extremely painful, it can cause heavy bleeding, infertility and serious infections later on in life. According to ActionAid, today, over 140 millions females worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM. How shocking is that?
Today (6th Feb) is International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. It is about taking a stand against this horrific practice and making more people aware that it is totally unacceptable.
Please find below Christine (an extremely brave girl who was a victim of FGM and forced marriage) and actress Emma Thompson's accounts of female genital mutilation when she visited Liberia with her son:
Actress and ActionAid ambassador, Emma Thompson supports International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, she said:
“I have, most unfortunately, seen and heard at first-hand about the devastating effects of female genital mutilation. The initial trauma, the high chances of infection, the hell of sex and childbirth, the loss of all sexual pleasure, the sheer violation of every natural and humane instinct – the stories I have heard beggar belief. We can no longer turn a blind eye.
“ActionAid’s work is impactful. We work very closely with communities. We educate boys and girls about how damaging female genital mutilation is for both sexes, finally. If we want to make a dent in this habit of mutilation, we have to support those long-term programmes, they’re the only thing that produces lasting change.”
To cut a long story short - Female genital mutilation is unnecessary and disgusting. It has to stop.
ActionAid are asking for donations, which will go towards educating both males and females in many communities about this nasty practise. Please donate anything you can HERE!
Will you support Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation?
Follow the #EndFGM tag on Twitter throughout today to find real-life stories, facts and stats
For more info, head to ActionAid. It's an amazing human rights and anti-poverty organisation, which I am so proud to support!