Archive | March, 2012

Islamist Parliamentarian demands abolition of Egypt´s Ban on FGM

29 Mar

The long-standing representative of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Azza El Garf considers female genital mutilation as “beautification plastic surgery” and emphasizes women’s rights at the same time.

CAIRO – It is “beautification plastic surgery” and the “woman´s choice” to undergo this practice, says Azza El Garf. With these words, the prominent representative of the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt offers a profile in political contradiction. The reason: She is talking about female genital mutilation, a cruel practice that was banned in Egypt in 2008.


As reported on its website yesterday, the politician with close ties to the conservative Muslim Brotherhood, uses the freedom of decision-making as an argument for FGM. “If she needs it, she can go to a doctor”, stresses El Garf.

On the one hand El Garf shares her party´s family-first view of a woman´s place, on the other she emphasizes her pioneering role in the minority of women serving in the country´s post-revolution parliament. “People here think women can be a doctor, go to university, be a teacher or an engineer”, she explains, “but people still think women are no good politics. We want to change this view.” Only one percent of the Egyptian Parliament members are women.

But also in issues such as family and divorce Azza El Garf promotes her conservative attitude. She complains that divorce had become too easy in Egypt and is even possible without the permission from husbands. Hoda Badran, chairwoman of the Egyptian Feminist Union, fears: “The comment is likely to reinforce expectations that Islamists will seek to roll back women´s rights.”

Death threats after reporting on FGM

14 Mar

Journalist from Liberia has gone into hiding in fear of attack

MONROVIA – In response to an article about FGM in Liberia, published last Thursday in the local daily FrontPage Africa, the Liberian journalist Mae Azango received death threats. According to Africa Review, Pulitzer-Center grantee Azango has now gone into hiding. “They left messages and told people to tell me that they will catch me and cut me so that will make me shut up”, fears Azango.

In her article she reports about FGM in rural Liberia, and the devastating, and sometimes deadly, effects it can produce. Furthermore two of three girls are victims of FGM in certain parts of the country, she reports.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has now called for Liberian police to ensure safety for Azango and other FrontPage Africa staff. “Authorities must send a clear message that threats of violence are crimes”, confirms CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita.

Ten out of Liberia´s 16 tribes practice FGM, accounting for up to 85 percent of the country´s population. Unsanitary conditions cause infections, tetanus and HIV transmissions.”The people behind these threats seem to be secure that they can act with impunity”, says Keita. It is important now, he stresses, to uphold the law and ensure prosecution.

FGM in Canada: Call to inform doctors

12 Mar

A recently published policy statement claims new curriculum of medical schools

TORONTO – The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada insists that information about treating patients who have had female genital mutilation should be integrated into the new curriculum of medical schools. “So what that means for us as physicians in Canada is we´re kind of confronted with this kind of anatomical difference, and we need to know how to treat them”, stresses Margaret Burnett, chair of the social and sexual issues committee, in an interview last Tuesday.
According to the Canadian Press a lot more immigrant women from Africa, who suffered FGM, are in medical attention. “One of the biggest things that we see is that sometimes the labour is obstructed because the opening isn´t big enough for the baby´s head to come through”, regrets Burnett. And: “So we have to know what episiotomy to make, how to repair that, in order that these ladies can have normal deliveries.”
The society first issued an official policy document against the practice in 1992. With this statement they want to remind members that FGM is a criminal offence in Canada, and reporting it to child welfare protection services is obligatory when it is suspected. Besides it should encourage doctors to counsel families against FGM and advocate for culturally competent support. “Education is very important. We need to emphasize that there´s no medical reason for this to be done”, explains Burnett.

International Women´s Day Donation from Clothing Company NAVABI

9 Mar
As part of the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN´S DAY, the Plus Size Clothing Company NAVABI made a donation to Desert Flower Foundation to support our fight against FGM!
Thank you so much for your support and contribution NAVABI!
You can check their great clothes at

International Women´s Day

8 Mar

„Help the women in Somalia!“

Today is the International Women´s Day and I think about my sisters in Somalia, about the girls, mothers, grandmothers and all the people in my broken country. It is so difficult to be a woman in Somalia!

98 percent of the girls and women are affected by female genital mutilation there. Violence against women is omnipresent. According to UNHCR, rape is increasing dramatically, especially due to the presence of foreign and Somali military, terrorists and other madmen – sheer anarchy. Raped women are being forced to marry their torturers and particularly in nomad societies, sexual abuse is used to force down the bride price of the chosen girl. Women don´t have free access to medical care and maternal mortality in Somalia is in second place in the world unfortunately. There is no place for young girls in this disastrous education system, just seven percent have access to school education.

From the community of nations, I demand the support for women of Somalia, who belong to the most disadvantaged in the world. Education is a basic human right of all men – even for the Somali women. Invest in schools, in professional training and, if possible, in economy and jobs! Invest in hospitals and ambulant healthcare! Don´t support politicians – they have shown million times that they are not able to solve the problems.


Help the women in Somalia! Please send me your suggestions, how we can help together!




Waris Dirie

Internationaler Frauentag

8 Mar

„Helft den Frauen in Somalia!“

Heute ist Internationaler Frauentag und ich denke an meine Schwestern in Somalia, an die Mädchen, die Mütter, die Frauen, die Großmütter, die Menschen in meinem zerrütteten Land. Wie hart ist es heute eine Frau in Somalia zu sein!

98 Prozent unserer Mädchen und Frauen wurden und werden genital verstümmelt. Gewalt gegen sie ist allgegenwärtig. Laut UNHCR haben Vergewaltigungen an Frauen extrem zugenommen, insbesondere durch die Präsenz ausländischer Militärs, den somalischen Milizen, Terrorgruppen und sonstigen Irren – Anarchie pur. Vergewaltigte Frauen werden gezwungen ihre Peiniger zu heiraten und bei den Nomaden verbreitet sich sexuelle Gewalt als Mittel um den Brautpreis für das ausgesuchte Mädchen zu drücken. Frauen haben kaum Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung. Bei der Müttersterblichkeit nimmt Somalia den traurigen zweiten Platz ein. Für Mädchen gibt es keinen Platz im katastrophal schlechten Bildungssystem. Nur sieben Prozent haben Zugang zu Schulbildung.

Ich fordere die Weltgemeinschaft auf, die Frauen Somalias, die zu den benachteiligten Menschen dieser Welt zu gehören, zu unterstützen, ihnen zu helfen. Bildung ist ein Grundrecht für alle Menschen – auch für die Frauen Somalias. Investiert in Schulen, in Berufsausbildung und, dort wo es möglich ist, in die Wirtschaft und in Arbeitsplätze! Investiert in Spitäler und ambulante Gesundheitsversorgung! Investiert nicht in Politiker und in die Politik! Denn die haben zu oft bewiesen, dass sie diese Probleme nicht lösen können.


Helft den Frauen in Somalia! Bitte sendet mir Eure Vorschläge, wie wir gemeinsam helfen können!




Waris Dirie