end female circumcision through education, information, and alternative form of initiation ceremony.
global women intact (gwi) is a non-profit, non-governmental and unbiased organization. when it comes to ending female circumcision, we are committed to working with women and girls in america and africa, no matter what their situation is. we provide prevention materials and support services in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner. we are dedicated to making services accessible to all. we work in partnership with communities based organizations to provide:
advocacy resource tools
letters and comments
why are we important?
governmental efforts to end the practice of female circumcision have largely failed. where it has been made illegal, the practice has often gone underground, increasing the health risks to the young girls undergoing the procedure. our unique vision and status as cultural insiders (sia amma was subjected to the practice at the age of 9) have led us to build an organization with a distinctly different grassroots approach to this issue.
we refrain from condemning those who practicing female circumcision. for those women seeking to end their roles in circumcising others, gwi offer educational and economic opportunities which respect their cultural heritage. we offer these women education and employment enabling them to lead fulfilling lives in their communities.
african women who need circumcision fees as a buffer against poverty need to develop other income sources. we do this through our program of interest-free business loans. to help educate -- and entertain -- western people about the nature of our work, i perform my one-woman show, "in search of my clitoris," in theaters and on college campuses. please check the calendar for a performance near you, or email sia amma to inquire about arranging a performance in your community.
education is critical to ending female circumcision.
we provide academic scholarships and grants to assist girls in their eductions. as part of our mission, the foundation provides scholarships for girls from grades 1 through 12. we encourage both parents and children to stay in school and to look forward to a future with opportunities as well as educational development. with your generous support and the help of the show, we have sponsored many girls.
please check the calendar for a performance near you, or email sia amma to inquire about arranging a performance in your community.
we focus on classroom education to give both young girls and boys more opportunities to learn about themselves, each other, strengthen their self-image, increase their feelings of self-worth, and about female circumcision. in order to end female circumcision, more attention must be paid to the young and the upcoming generation. each year when i travel to africa, not only do i work with the women and girls, but also i volunteer to teach clitoris 101 as part of sex education in classrooms. last year, i taught at four local schools, in monrovia, liberia, and tambacounda in senegal. we must work within the context of the culture, regardless of our beliefs, so that we can help prevent women and girls from being mutilated.
how global women intact has helped equip organizations to end female circumcision: eradication funding-we help different organizations by providing them with addresses, applications and other necessary information. we mail to them brochures, booklets, and pamphlets containing information on how to end female circumcision. these tools are used to facilitate workshops in areas where female circumcision is still practiced. this year, we received fifty e-mails and letters from different organizations in different parts of the world asking for our help. here is one of them:
dear global women intact: thanks for your bold steps in trying to eradicate fgm practices in this sub-region. this dreadful, inhumane and uncivilized act, accepted as an african tradition, has caused the untimely deaths of females and has promoted sexually transmitted infections (stis), sexually transmitted diseases (stds) and hiv/aids. being opposed to it in my country as a journalist, now in exile, i incorporated in late 1996 and early 1997 an fgm eradication branch in my office and launched a campaign against these practices. the campaign here, though dangerous, will need funding from any source to carry out our work. the funding will allow us to network, using tools such as video recordings, billboards, decorations, postal mailings, and radio programs, coupled with newspaper publicity. to achieve success and to boost what we have on hand, i need your support. please reply.
samuel h. lavalie
village empowerment program
we now offer interest-free business loans to help traditional african women support themselves by making and selling handicrafts and clothing. as part of our support, we import and sell beautiful handmade goods on their behalf. this new program, the village women empowerment program, came out of meetings we had with women who perform circumcisions in rural areas in senegal, gambia, liberia, and guinea. most of the women (from the kissi, via, fulani, and bambara tribes) cannot give up circumcising girls because they depend on the income from the fees they charge. our loans are helping them establish other sources of income.
these women-owned businesses produce crafts, necklaces, bangles, masks, statues and clothing. global women intact sells these goods in a shop in san francisco and by mail order. all proceeds go to support our educational materials, workshops and scholarships for needy girls.
sincerely, sia amma founder, global women intact
the global women intact educational project to end female circumcision is a reality.
mama tewah was a circumciser, and one of 300 women in her village who have received education needed to end female circumcision.
through gwi's seminars, we educate women and girls about female circumcision. detailed illustrations of the entire vulva-with an emphasis on the clitoris-are shown, providing information on how each organ looks along with a verbal description of its function in women's sexuality. also shown are graphic images involving the horrors of clitoris removal. these relevant images help women understand exactly what is being taken away from them when they are circumcised. another of gwi's services involves traveling to rural areas and sponsoring community education workshops that include roundtable discussions on female circumcision.
as part of our goals, gwi grant scholarships to young woman in rural villages. over the past three years our organization has granted over $10,000 in scholarships. in the coming years we hope to increase the amount in our efforts to educate woman. our overall goal is to raise up to $30,000 in scholarships this year.
we thank all the women who collaborated with us in raising awareness to end female circumcision in africa during our three-week workshops in liberia, sierra leone, and guinea. we know how difficult this issue is to discuss, that's why we are greatly indebted to all the women who made a strong commitment to never circumcise their daughters. we thank them for their contributions in providing us with an opportunity to address this very important matter.
we are also grateful to the brave men who helped us in organizing these workshops. our priority is to continue, strengthen, and present thousands more workshops until there is an end to female circumcision.
last fall, i spent two months in three villages between the boundaries of liberia, sierra leone, and guinea in west africa! ten girls were schedule for circumcision, after two months of educating them on their vulvas, clitorises, vaginas, and g-spots, i returned to the united state. my sister said my efforts were successful because only two of the 8 went through with the circumcision. i am retuning to my village in december to do more education and need all the monetary help i can get. if everyone who believes in ending female mutilation donates only one dollar, i will have enough money to pay for educational materials, transportation and networking with the village women. then perhaps we can begin to change the thinking that causes people to perpetuate this barbaric custom. each time i visit my village, i change more minds and save more girls from being circumcised. like casting pebbles in a stream, each person i save, will save her daughter and she in turn will save hers. won't you help?