To be held on Nov. 25, U.N.’s ‘Elimination of Violence Against Women Day’
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 24 – “Ban Ki-moon, General Secretary of United Nations, says the world must unite to end violence against women, but although everyone knows that includes rape, sexual slavery and beatings, ending the barbaric practice of Female Genital Mutilation is equally important,” said Nadine Gary, director of communications for Clitoraid, a U.S.-based international nonprofit organization, in a statement released today.
For the U.N.’s annual “International Day to End Violence Against Women,” Nov. 25, Gary said Clitoraid is planning “Silent Walks” directed against FGM as well as against rape, conjugal violence and other violent acts against females. [See for Silent Walk times and locations.]
Clitoraid has been fighting against FGM since 2006.
“We provide clitoral repair surgery for FGM victims,” Gary said. “Clitoraid was founded after Rael, spiritual leader of the International Raelian Movement, learned of a new surgical procedure that can restore the clitoris of genitally mutilated women. Clitoraid was his idea, and next March, in Burkina Faso, West Africa, we will open the world’s first hospital dedicated to providing this surgery for free, for any woman who wants it.”
Clitoraid’s medical staff is composed exclusively of volunteers.
“Volunteer surgeons like Dr. Marci Bowers and Dr. Harold Henning will go to Burkina Faso to launch this historical humanitarian mission,” Gary said. “Thanks to these doctors’ generosity and to modern science, FGM victims will regain the sense of physical pleasure they were so cruelly deprived of. Their dignity as women will finally be complete.”
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 165 million women and girls are now living with consequences of FGM. Although many are Africans, Gary pointed out that the problem is worldwide in scope.
“Although about 92 million FGM victims live in Africa, additional millions now live in the Americas and Europe as a result of immigration,” she explained., adding that the genital mutilation of innocent young girls and infants constitutes “an abomination totally against human rights.”
“Article One of the Universal Charter of Human Rights says all human beings are born free and equal in their rights and dignity,” Gary pointed out. “That means the integrity, dignity and autonomy of their physical bodies, including their sexual organs, must never be violated against their will.”