SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 14 – Today, in conjunction with the V-Day Movement launched by Eve Ensler, Clitoraid, a nonprofit organization that assists victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), is supporting and participating in “One Billion Rising,” an international call to end violence against women.
“In San Francisco, our head surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers, M.D., will perform clitoral repair surgery for two FGM victims at her San Mateo Clinic,” said Nadine Gary, Clitoraid’s director of communications.
Bowers, well known for her gender reassignment surgeries, has been volunteering for Clitoraid since 2009, according to Gary.
“To date, she has operated on close to 40 FGM patients, and in October she will travel to Burkina Faso, West Africa, for the opening of our new hospital,” Gary said. “At that time, she will begin operating on the more than 400 FGM victims currently on our waiting list for clitoral repair surgery.”
Gary said today’s One Billion Rising event is the perfect occasion for Clitoraid volunteers to rise up and dance.
“That’s especially true for our team in Burkina Faso, West Africa,” she said. “They’ll gather at what we call our ‘Pleasure Hospital,’ which is where Dr. Bowers and other volunteers will be helping FGM victims once the facility opens in October.”
Gary then cited some alarming statistics concerning violence against women.
“One in three women living today – a total of one billion women worldwide – will be raped or beaten within her lifetime, and every 6 minutes, a little girl is being genitally mutilated,” she said. “These atrocities must be eliminated. Therefore, for the 15th anniversary of V-Day on February 14, Clitoraid supporters around the world will join those one billion abused women and those who love them. We’ll walk, dance, and above all else, rise up and demand an end to the violence.”
Gary said Clitoraid has always supported Ensler’s efforts to end violence against women.
“We applaud her for such things as setting up safe houses in Kenya to protect girls and women who have fled their homes rather than become FGM victims,” Gary said, adding that Clitoraid’s participation in One Billion Rising will also include raising awareness about Clitoraid’s work by holding special events.
“We’re holding community awareness events throughout the United States and Canada, in European countries like France, Switzerland and Italy; in Australia and South America, and in Southeastern Asia, where large numbers of potential FGM victims are at high risk in Indonesia,” Gary concluded.