INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END FGM: SOCIAL NORMS AIMED AT CONTROLLING WOMEN’S BODIES

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DOWNLOAD ARTICLE HERE   The 6th of February is a well-known date for NGOs, CSOs and activists committed to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). As the international day against FGM will highlight existing projects and good practises to end it, it is also a great moment to focus on the unknown – or less known – social norms aimed at controlling women’s bodies.  Growing up, virginity ​and hymen were the topi​cs of conversations with my fellow girl friends. Virginity was, for us, a key to a successful, blessed, honorific and socially well-approved marriage. ​As part of our social existence​, virginity and marriage are tied to each other. Marriage is the main objective and greatest achievement for young girls to be accepted and treated as a respected woman within their families and at a larger scale, their communities. Several ways to protect virginity and to ensure that young girls will one day become wives, […]

ENOMW STATEMENT ON FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM)

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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Violence against Women and Girls. Male control over Female Bodies.  Not “Islamic tradition”. Not “private matter”.   Brussels, 6 July 2017 We, the European Network of Migrant Women (ENOMW), are alerted by the recent statements by Tariq Ramadan, the President of the European Muslim Network (EMN), regarding the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in relation to the Muslim culture and tradition. Even more concerning is the EMN president’s call to discuss FGM “privately” and to restrain from publicly condemning individuals who condone this form of violence against women, in order to protect these individuals’ religious status and position of power. ENOMW denounces, in strongest terms, any traditional, cultural or religious justification of FGM – a crime against women under international human rights law and a serious violation of women’s bodily, sexual and psychological integrity. We refute Tariq Ramadan’s personal & pseudo-religious interpretations of FGM, as […]

OUR VOICE: AFRICAN REFUGEE WOMEN AND GIRLS’ PRAYERS OF HOPE

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Germany, April 2017, THIS COLLECTION OF PRAYERS BY AFRICAN WOMEN AND GIRLS was published by our German member, Maisha African Women and it documents the intimate thoughts, hopes and difficulties of refugee women as they travel towards and in Europe. From fleeing forced marriage and FGM to difficulties in obtaining legal status in Europe, to sex-, race- and religion-stereotyping  – these are the private prayers of women and girls, looking to be understood.   “Merciful God, there is a stereotype of women of my religion that seems to dominate the Western media, as weak-willed and submissive and always likely to be veiled. Some even say we do not have opinions of our own and worse, we cannot express these opinions in the presence of men. I am angry at these portrayals, as I had my own business and was never known to without an opinion, as were many other women […]