Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ethiopian awarded anti-FGM prize

(May 22, 2013, (BBC))--Ethiopian activist Bogaletch Gebre has won an international prize for her campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM). Ms Gebre was awarded the King Baudouin Prize in Belgium for confronting "culturally entrenched taboo subjects", the selection committee said.

She helped reduce cases of FGM from 100% of newborn girls to less than 3% in parts of Ethiopia, it said. FGM is practised mainly in communities in Africa and the Middle East.

Also known as female circumcision, it is seen as a traditional rite of passage and is used culturally to ensure virginity and to make a woman marriageable. It typically involves removing the clitoris, and can lead to bleeding, infections and childbirth problems.

Ms Bogaletch told BBC Focus on Africa that her message to community elders who promoted FGM was: "Daddy, you lived your time. This is our period, our children's period. We don't want to kill our children. I hope you are wise enough to accept that." Read more from BBC »

Related topics:
Young Ethiopian women tell UK law-makers about efforts to end early marriage  
Ethiopia: The realities of female genital mutilation (By Claire-Marine Varin) 

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