Ain't I a Woman Too?

$3,200 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 33 months
Twenty five years ago at the ages of 22 and 8, my sister Sunju and I underwent female initiation and circumcision in our country of heritage, Sierra Leone. Our experiences do not at all fit the stereotype of female genital mutilation.  We are not alone. Millions of women and girls who are circumcised support the practice for important sociocultural, religious and aesthetic reasons or personal hygiene preferences.


Others believe it's time to abandon the practice, and this is okay too.  We believe it's time for our governments, international organizations and anti-fgm campaigners to listen to ALL our voices.  

Anti-fgm campaigns may be well intentioned but they stigmatize girls and women in our communities.  Many anti-fgm activists make exaggerated or unfounded claims about the long term health and psychosexual impact of these surgeries.  Also, anti-fgm policies and legislation criminalize practioners for performing the same female genital cosmetic operations that thousands of women, adolescent and some underage girls undergo in western countries. 


Anti-fgm campaigns have the unintended consequences of discouraging women from seeking badly needed antenatal care and gynecological checkups; these negative messages foster low self-esteem, feelings of racial and gender inferiority as well as sexual anxieties among affected adolescent girls and young women in particular. More important, anti-fgm policies don't work.  
The "Ain't I a Woman" campaign goal is to raise seed money to finance our effort to increase awareness about the negative impact of anti-fgm campaigns, to lobby for policies that advance the full autonomy of  ALL adolescent girls and women over their own bodies; to sponsor the education of circumcised girls so that they can delay marriage and have the same choices and opportunities in life as other children in the world; as well as to celebrate and teach about our unique traditions of female (and male) initiation in sub-Sahara Africa and other parts of the world.


Your $100 annual partnership will help some of the most marginalized African girls and women become confident and productive citizens in their communities with a strong sense of cultural identity and pride.  


Your financial contribution of any amount will help restore the dignity and preserve the rights and freedoms of affected women and girls all over the world. With your contributions, together we can improve the way female initiation or female circumcision procedures are carried out in our communities while holding on to the health, aesthetic and sexual benefits of our unique, time honored, socioreligious traditions. With your support we can effectively advocate for an age of consent for certain procedures where this is relevant as an alternative to zero tolerance and extremist anti-fgm policies.

Thanks and God bless, 
Fuambai and Sunju
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Bkryzz Aka-Fabrizio
18 months ago
2
2

The only circumcision that is worth allowing is that of brains, to extirpate any signs of religious beliefs, of any religion. Only then humanity will be free.

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Net Cook
16 months ago

PS, I love that you are doing this campaign - obviously a very controversial issue, but great that you are keeping the young women in schools and holding off marriage and families. I think African countries in particular (like the rest of the world) would do well to have more women in power, whatever they choose to do with their lady parts (which is no one's business but their own)! Much love!!

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Net Cook
16 months ago

I respect your right to choose and absolutely your right to your cultural practices, however I have two issues of A) consent and B) health. I read of young women being carried off into the night without warning or consent to be put through a (what I imagine to be horrifically painful) procedure their mother has signed them up for - and has this mother been fully informed of the risks associated with this procedure? I expect that the women who perform these circumcisions have been taught ancient knowledge that has passed down through the ages to the point where it is an art and they must be incredibly experienced and knowledgeable, and maybe not medically certified, but qualified none-the-less, but I have heard some stories about rusty knives being used, and even sharpened stones; Some women bleeding out, dying of septic shock or later dying in childbirth when the birthing child unintentionally causes lacerations. I've seen keloids form in the scar tissue, and heard horror stories of the women who have immigrated (who never gave consent for this procedure) and then seek surgical repair - but even with repair / reopening, some will never experience sexual pleasure, intimacy yes, but the nerves that give sexual pleasure will not grow back. So: If these women are consenting for themselves, being fully informed of all the risks involved, I say go for it! I believe it is wrong to significantly alter a body in such a way forcefully, without the knowledge and consent of the woman concerned (and I realise this is my opinion). And: if a woman consents to the procedure, she should have access to hygienic facilities and instruments, as well as well-trained and experienced practitioners and should anything go wrong, follow-up care. Additionally, (and this is my own biased agnostic, western, white, feminist opinion) I question what this does to young women's esteem if they are forced to see themselves as "unhygienic", "impure", "unchaste", bad wives or mothers, not worthy of marriage, and not encouraged to see themselves as perfect the way they were created.

+ Read More

$3,200 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 33 months
Created March 5, 2016
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ZA
$500
zainab Ali
28 months ago

I have heard & read so much from the anti FGM & their Marketing campaign. It's clearly influencing the audience with a one sided & biased knowledge base. Today each one of us change our tastes and decisions so quickly based on what's on facebook & twitter but the IMPORTANT QUESTION is how do u validate those statements & judgements. One person's statement or experience can not give a ruling decision for other persons future. Sadly we get influenced by what drastic images we are shown & they generalized it. I am very interested to see some Fair-minded nondiscriminatory piece of information put forward and a level ground for decision making MOVING FORWARD!!

AA
$1,000
Aftab Abdulhussein
29 months ago

Western women are free to do all kings of vaginal alterations for aesthetics reasons. But African and Asian women are not free to do the same for cultural and religious reasons. Should they do so, they would be called barbaric mutilators and have committed several human rights violations. Such blatant Western hypocrisy must be exposed.

$200
Anonymous
32 months ago
FC
$100
Finda Ceesay
32 months ago

Thank you for standing for all of us.

$200
Anonymous
33 months ago
$1,000
Anonymous
33 months ago
Bkryzz Aka-Fabrizio
18 months ago
2
2

The only circumcision that is worth allowing is that of brains, to extirpate any signs of religious beliefs, of any religion. Only then humanity will be free.

+ Read More
Net Cook
16 months ago

PS, I love that you are doing this campaign - obviously a very controversial issue, but great that you are keeping the young women in schools and holding off marriage and families. I think African countries in particular (like the rest of the world) would do well to have more women in power, whatever they choose to do with their lady parts (which is no one's business but their own)! Much love!!

+ Read More
Net Cook
16 months ago

I respect your right to choose and absolutely your right to your cultural practices, however I have two issues of A) consent and B) health. I read of young women being carried off into the night without warning or consent to be put through a (what I imagine to be horrifically painful) procedure their mother has signed them up for - and has this mother been fully informed of the risks associated with this procedure? I expect that the women who perform these circumcisions have been taught ancient knowledge that has passed down through the ages to the point where it is an art and they must be incredibly experienced and knowledgeable, and maybe not medically certified, but qualified none-the-less, but I have heard some stories about rusty knives being used, and even sharpened stones; Some women bleeding out, dying of septic shock or later dying in childbirth when the birthing child unintentionally causes lacerations. I've seen keloids form in the scar tissue, and heard horror stories of the women who have immigrated (who never gave consent for this procedure) and then seek surgical repair - but even with repair / reopening, some will never experience sexual pleasure, intimacy yes, but the nerves that give sexual pleasure will not grow back. So: If these women are consenting for themselves, being fully informed of all the risks involved, I say go for it! I believe it is wrong to significantly alter a body in such a way forcefully, without the knowledge and consent of the woman concerned (and I realise this is my opinion). And: if a woman consents to the procedure, she should have access to hygienic facilities and instruments, as well as well-trained and experienced practitioners and should anything go wrong, follow-up care. Additionally, (and this is my own biased agnostic, western, white, feminist opinion) I question what this does to young women's esteem if they are forced to see themselves as "unhygienic", "impure", "unchaste", bad wives or mothers, not worthy of marriage, and not encouraged to see themselves as perfect the way they were created.

+ Read More
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