Wednesday 12 December 2018

Global event calling for end to FGM to start here

Ifrah Ahmed launches #MeTooFGM, a worldwide social media campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM), in Dublin city centre. Photo: Niall Carson /PA
Ifrah Ahmed launches #MeTooFGM, a worldwide social media campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM), in Dublin city centre. Photo: Niall Carson /PA

Michael McHugh

A worldwide social media campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM) is being launched in Dublin tomorrow with the backing of the #MeToo movement.

The event will be led by Ifrah Ahmed (29), who was born in Somalia and survived the barbaric practice.

She is now living in Dublin and helped organise this week's demonstration, which is supported by celebrities including singer Imelda May.

Activists aim to mark zero tolerance day for FGM with a million #MeToo sexual harassment campaigners using the hashtag #MeTooFGM to indicate their support.

Speaking at the launch of the National Plan of Action, Ms Ahmed said: "FGM is the ultimate form of violence against women and female children...the forcible removal of a child's sexual organs to control her sexuality has been going on since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs.

"We are calling on all women everywhere who care about women's rights to support their sisters in 30 countries across the world to call for an end to FGM."

At the launch of #MeTooFGM, a worldwide social media campaign
against female genital mutilation (FGM), in Dublin are (l-r) Soky Malaka, Taya Simakova, Vanessa Manunga, Ifrah Ahmed, Zhiyan
Karimi, Muwa Malaka and Klaudia Okros. Ms Ahmed (29) was born in Somalia and survived the barbaric practice. Photo: Niall Carson
At the launch of #MeTooFGM, a worldwide social media campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM), in Dublin are (l-r) Soky Malaka, Taya Simakova, Vanessa Manunga, Ifrah Ahmed, Zhiyan Karimi, Muwa Malaka and Klaudia Okros. Ms Ahmed (29) was born in Somalia and survived the barbaric practice. Photo: Niall Carson

The Thunderclap social media platform will see activists from around the world take to the Twittersphere using the #MeTooFGM hashtag.

It will be launched at Dublin's Light House Cinema tomorrow at 2pm.

It will be spread across six continents by activists.

Organisers hope that, starting in Dublin, the Thunderclap will reach one million Twitter users across Africa, the US, Asia and Australia by midnight tomorrow.

Uma Thurman. Photo: PA
Uma Thurman. Photo: PA

FGM comprises all procedures involving altering or injuring female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

It is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM, according to the UN.

Some 44 million girls aged 14 and younger have been subjected to FGM, most commonly in Gambia, Mauritania and Indonesia.

The barbaric procedure is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15, the UN protest organisers said.

FGM causes severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility and complications in childbirth.

The #MeToo movement began after claims of serious sexual misconduct surfaced in Hollywood involving producer Harvey Weinstein.

The latest allegations came at the weekend from 'Kill Bill' actress Uma Thurman, who accused the disgraced movie mogul of attacking her years ago in a London hotel room.

Weinstein, through his lawyers, acknowledged making an "awkward pass" but strongly denied any physical assault and suggested the possibility of legal action over her comments.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News