Survivors speak out at THEIR VOICE conference
On June 16, 2012, CAGeM hosted the first National Female Genital Mutilation Survivors conference “THEIR VOICE” which was held at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York City. At the conference, US survivors spoke out for the first time. At the press conference following the event, Mae Azango, the Liberian reporter persecuted for exposing FGM in Liberia, encouraged survivors to speak out despite resistance. On September 15, 2012 they will unite again at the Restoring the Rose walkathon to raise awareness in the US and raise funds to ship medical supplies to the first free hospital for survivors of female genital mutilation where they will be able to receive clitoral reconstructive surgery.
The procedure, developed by French surgeon Pierre Foldes, has been clinically proven to allow women who have undergone female genital mutilation with clitoridectomy, to achieve clitoral orgasms and reduce pain. “I never thought I could ever get my clitoris back”, said Osasu Ovuraye, one of the patients awaiting clitoral reconstructive surgery. “Even when I found out it was possible, I knew I could never afford it so I’m very grateful to CAGeM for this opportunity”. There are currently over 500 women in Africa on the waiting list for the surgery. The hospital will officially open in December, 2012 pending delivery of necessary medical equipment and supplies.
CAGeM will also be showcasing the handmade jewelry and other handcrafts by victims of domestic violence and female genital mutilation in Egypt. The women are in the economic empowerment program of CAGeM in Egypt. Training women on financial sustainability is an important tool in empowering them to stand up against female genital mutilation in Egypt where there prevalence is 97% and there has been a recent push to legalize FGM in the country. Recently a mobile convoy paraded several communities in Egypt, genitally mutilating women.
Information and registration for the free walkathon is available here: http://www.active.com/10k-race/new-york-ny/restoring-the-rose-walk-a-thon-2012
Mae Azango speaks at CAGeM press conference