FGM survivors to release videos to make their stories known

Launch on Feb. 6, International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM/C

Sahiyo, a non-governmental organisation working to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), and StoryCenter, an initiative that helps transform lives through listening to and sharing stories, will release 27 short videos created by FGM survivors and advocates from across the world.

Titled ‘Voices to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)’, the videos will be released on February 6, International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM/C.

Voices to End FGM/C supports women and men impacted by the issue and encourages them to tell their stories from their perspectives. A press statement issued on Tuesday said the participants have received training on how to create videos at workshops held in-person or through webinars. “The programme was first launched in May 2018 as ‘Sahiyo Stories’, when Sahiyo and StoryCenter hosted a residential workshop on digital storytelling for nine FGM/C survivors in Berkeley, California.”

“The videos created at that workshop have been screened at various events transnationally,” the statement said. The 27 new digital stories will be released on Sahiyo’s YouTube page on February 6.

FGM/C is the practice of cutting or altering parts of a girl’s or a woman’s genitalia for cultural and non-medical purposes. Recognised by the United Nations as a human rights violation, the practice is prevalent in countries and communities globally and at least 3.9 million girls worldwide are at risk of being cut every year.

“I believe that to create change, we have to speak about the harms in our community and storytelling allows us to do that in a safe and non-judgemental way,” Sahiyo’s co-founder Mariya Taher said.

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