Post archive for 2012

What lessons can we learn from FGM practice in Tanzania? Blog from our Research Co-ordinator, recently back from Tanzania

18 December 2012 Research

Following from our previous blog about FGM in Tanzania, we continue with a blog from Singida and Dodoma in Central Tanzania by our Research Co-ordinator, who recently undertook a research project in the country for Tearfund. In Central Tanzania, we found a very different picture to Mara Region in North West Tanzania (see last blog

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What impact can the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women make? Guest blog from Laura McKeever, 28 Too Many Volunteer

10 December 2012

From the International Day of Violence Against Women on November 25th, to International Human Rights Day on December 10th, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence takes place. Since 1991, over 4,100 organisations have taken part in the campaign to end violence against women, placing emphasis on ending violence everywhere, including the home

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‘Why we ‘should’ think about FGM even if we’ve ‘never had to‘?’: Guest blog by Farhanah Mamoojee

04 December 2012

Girls like me are pretty lucky. We never had to worry about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In fact, the concept is perhaps so alien to us that we have never really had to even think about it. But just because we are lucky enough to have never had to think about it, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about it.

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Why Do We Need an International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women? Blog by Ann-Marie Wilson

27 November 2012 Violence against women

We are delighted to share our blog on the Huffington Post to celebrate the 16 Days of Activism beginning with the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th November) and ending with The Human Rights Day (10th December).  Follow our daily posts on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with our activities and news.  

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How are we working together in the fight against FGM? Tareto Maa meets 28 Too Many: a personal journey. Guest blog by Helen Marshall, Tareto Maa.

20 November 2012

I don’t remember exactly when I first became concerned about the subject of FGM but it was one of those moments when something so hard hits you, you can’t get it out of your mind. Learning about a girl being cut and left in pain, sometimes to bleed and die was something so shocking to

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What has 28 Too Many been up to? A summary of the last three months news! Blog by Ann-Marie, Executive Director

13 November 2012

An Olympic Summer! During a hot sunny week of camping at a Conference in Somerset, with main morning and evening talks attracting over 5000 attendees, I spent time in seminars on pioneering, advocacy, leadership & Tearfund’s work.  These were interspersed with a few art workshops and a healthy dose of communal BBQs!  A New Wine

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What’s happening in advance of the cutting season in Tanzania? Guest blog from Tanzania by our Research Co-Ordinator

06 November 2012

We are shortly approaching the December cutting season in Tanzania.  Our Research Co-Ordinator has just returned from Tanzania, undertaking some research on behalf of Tearfund, and these are her initial findings: “We visited the remote Rorya District in the Mara region in North West Tanzania, near the shores of Lake Victoria. Although within the country

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What power has the use of language in the FGM debate? Guest blog by Vivien Cohen, 28 Too Many Volunteer

30 October 2012

There are many euphemisms in the English language. People don’t die, they ‘pass away’. My grandma never went to the toilet; she ‘went to spend a penny’. Our society has a long and rich history of euphemising when we find a topic unseemly, reprehensible, embarrassing or difficult to confront.  It seems to me then that

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Guest Blog from Lisa Glass, Member of South London Fawcett Group

23 October 2012

I recently went to a South London Fawcett Group meeting, where Ann-Marie Wilson, Founder/Director of 28 Too Many spoke about the work of her charity. With a background in corporate HR, she went in 2005 to West Darfur to do some aid work, where she first came across the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM),

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Celebrating anti-FGM progress in rural Uganda. Blog by Kelly Denise, Uganda In-Country Researcher

16 October 2012

When Ann-Marie first started looking at getting involved in anti-FGM work in 2005, she bought a book edited by Comfort Momoh ‘Female Genital Mutilation’.  There it stated FGM inUganda at 5% (1995/6).  We are pleased to report in 2012, it has fallen to 1% (UNFPA).  In this blog, Kelly shares her experience in Uganda: My

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28 Too Many in the media

09 October 2012 FGM in the media

We have enjoyed great coverage over the last few months, spreading our message about the fight to eradicate FGM.  Hear Ann-Marie’s interview with Voice of Russia about charities helping to end FGM, here 28 Too Many was also quoted in an article featured in the Church Times calling for an end of FGM.  Ann-Marie was

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How do we have the right to get involved in African cultural practices such as FGM…. because FGM sits alongside the human right to health.

02 October 2012

Charlotte is a recent graduate from UCL in French and Philosophy. Her studies have had a particular focus on current ethics debates in health in UK and global health. Studying French along side this she became interested in the culture of Francophone Africa which makes up a large part of North and West Africa. FGM

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Why do people harm those they love and how does the survivor move on to be an inspiring leader?

25 September 2012

In the spring, I attended a 5 day leadership course run by CMS . Out of all the development I have undertaken over the years, this was the best course I have attended – enabling me to reflect on my 3 decades of leading (in corporate life; my own business and a charity). I sometimes see them as the ‘3 peaks’ I have scaled – as I continue to balance the opportunities and challenges of anti-FGM work in running 28 Too Many.

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28 too Many over the last few months!

18 September 2012 Quarterly Updates

28 Too Many takes off! April began with us talking to medical personnel in Haringey, for Choices, who run crisis pregnancy advice and wanted their staff to be better prepared regarding FGM.  We also attended further training on DASH (Domestic, Abuse, Stalking, Harassment & Honour Based Violence Risk Assessment) dealing with FMG cases.  As a

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What will you take away from the Olympics/Paralympics Summer?

11 September 2012

From the Danny Boyle Olympics Opening Ceremony to the 100th medal of the Paralympics; with numerous new world records to the spirit of the London 2012 Games Maker.  Here we share with you a few stories from our own 28 Too Many Team who took an ‘alternate’ volunteering holiday to make this a Games to

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‘Why does it happen?’ Guest blog by Olivia Jackson, currently completing her MA

04 September 2012

I am constantly asking ‘why does FGM happen?’.  The answers are as diverse as the practice, which occurs in 28 countries in Africa, across some of India/Pakistan; Malaysia/Indonesia, South Africa and in all countries where FGM practising communities migrate includingUSA,Canada, Europe and theUK.   As with this article’s title, it is sometimes believed to be that

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Guest Blog from Laura McKeever, 28 Too Many Volunteer

28 August 2012

Until earlier this year, I had not heard of FGM, but I had heard of ‘female circumcision’. The words ‘female circumcision’ had led me to believe that there were some communities around the world that performed a female version of circumcision that many of us are familiar with in the west. I assumed that it

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Guest blog by 28 Too Many’s Regional Co-Ordinator East Africa, Kelly Denise

21 August 2012

I recently have returned to Uganda following an 8 day trip to theUK to visit 28 Too Many. The purpose of my time there was to build relationships with the staff and volunteers as well as get a deeper idea of the vision of the charity to help me develop my role with them. Intermixed

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Freedom from fistula? First abandon FGM!

31 July 2012

As soon as I landed in Pakistan in 2010, the cultures struck me.  People with long salwahkameez or pashtun hats, were mixed with business suites and Bedouin style dress, evident event at the airport.  I travelled by Landrover towards theKashmir border – the best part of a day’s ride away – after picking up essential

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Our blogpost at the Huffington Post : ‘As Primary School Children Look Forward to the Holidays, Thousands of Young Girls Could be Facing the Summer Cutting Season’

24 July 2012

See Ann-Marie’s latest blog at the Huffington Post on the summer ‘cutting’ season

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Our ‘hot of the press contribution’ to the FGM academic world

20 July 2012

We  thought you might like to know that Ann-Marie’s paper entitled ‘Can lessons be learnt from eradicating footbinding in China and applied to abandoning female genital mutilation in Somalia? A critical evaluation of the possibilities offered for developing strategies to expand current promising practice’ has been published by the Journal of Gender Studies.  It is

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The day that changed my life direction

10 July 2012

Fatima greeted me as I entered the clinic. It was another dusty 40°C day. Even though I had been inWest Darfur and heard details of many atrocities there, I was chilled to the bone as I listened to her story. At ten years old she was raped by the Janjiweed, the armed horseback militia. It

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Once upon a time….how can telling a story make enough impact to cause positive change? Is the cost too high for the story teller?

29 June 2012

I grew up hearing stories from my grandmother and next door neighbour, Aunty Bunny, who taught me many of the key lessons in life – about values and what was important in life; priorities and key decisions; love and gender roles. My father also make up amazing multi-part stories to entertain me on weekend mornings whilst my mother had a lie in

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Guest blog by Kezia Bianca, YWCA Kenya. Introduction by Ann-Marie Wilson, Founder/Director

19 June 2012

I recently had the opportunity to speak on the work of 28 Too Many in helping end FGM across Africa, as a representative at the We Will Speak Out (WWSO) consortium in Geneva.  This privilege came as part of the support given by the Inspired Individual Scheme run by Tearfund, that I was successfully nominated

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Liberia & Sierra Leone Blog by our In-Country Researcher

08 June 2012

FGM is a topical issue in Liberia at the moment. The government was recently forced to take a public position on the matter, with Liberian officials declaring they want to stop FGM. This followed the publication by a journalist of an article exposing FGM which made her the target of threats, sparking international controversy

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Belfast Medics run 26 miles for 28 Too Many!

01 June 2012

Be inspired you to see what can be done as you read below about what a team of 5 Obstetric & Gynaecology Doctors (ranging from age 27-56) from Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, Northern Ireland achieved when running the Belfast Marathon Relay on 7th May 2012.

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How do we keep our children safe in a multi-cultural society? Ann-Marie Wilson, Founder/Director

25 May 2012

In the light of the recent front page article in the Sunday Times on 22nd April that have have led to a couple of arrests for offering FGM services in the UK, how do we keep our children safe from cultural traditional practices that cause harm under human rights legislation, whilst preserving cultural heritage? 28 Too Many was

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Want to make a difference? Talking about FGM is a good place to start.

11 May 2012

A Blog by Louise Robertston, 28 Too Many's New Operations Co-Ordinator

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How has 28 Too Many taken to the streets?

01 May 2012

Two special dates came up in our calendar in February and March – anti-FGM Day (6th February) and International Women’s Day (8th March). Each are full of key events, and for us, anti-FGM Day was marked by two Women’s Hour broadcasts on FGM in Senegal and Egypt. We attended a conference at the Royal College

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What difference do ‘special days’ like Anti-FGM (6th Feb) and International Women’s Day (8th March) make?

18 March 2012

The empowerment of women & girls has risen up the development agenda this decade, backed by powerful financial institutions with CSR policies; the philanthropic departments of major organisations (Vodafone and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations) and influential donors (USAID & DfID). What hope have we that this overlooked group will fulfil its potential? On the

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What will you be doing on 6th February?

07 February 2012

As we mark anti-FGM Day (6th February) with attending a conference at the Royal College of Obstrectics & Gynaecologists, a reception at Westminster and an event with Sister Fa, we reflect on the last 3 months of 28TooMany activities, read on……! Journey to help change traditional practices At the end my Conference in Kenya, I

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Harnessing creativity – when can the arts change hearts and minds on controversial topics?

20 January 2012

This month I attended Mike Leigh’s play ‘Grief’ – where a 1950’s war widow ‘survives’ through smoking and alcohol; her brother becomes depressed upon ‘retirement’ after 45 years of work and the 16 year old daughter commits suicide upon failing her exams with no hope for the future

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What has led to young girls seeking a ‘designer vagina’? What’s it got to do with FGM? What would you do if your daughter had asked for one for Christmas?!

06 January 2012

As many of us recover from over spending or over indulgence, spare a thought for young women influenced by the porn industry’s influence on ‘male’ desires of beauty, to seek vaginal cosmetic surgery. Labiaplasty is on the increase, rising by 70% from 2007-8 on the NHS, as confirmed by conversations with a couple of gynaecologists I recently met at a conference. The under 18 girls had researched well their mental health ‘trauma’ at having slightly unequal labia, so presented as needing surgery. Despite the fact we all have different feet, hands and breasts, there is an increase in the need for portrayed perfection, as girls are increasingly under pressure to shave their pubic areas – and so notice or are told their two labia are different sizes. It is ironic that in some of the 28 African countries that still practice FGM, labia are pulled to elongate – which is classed as Type IV

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