An estimated 125 million girls and women--primarily in Africa--have had their genitalia cut, scraped, or sewn up. In their communities, this is done to preserve their marriageability by preventing anticipated promiscuity and social ostracization. The lifelong cost of non-conformity can be high; even parents who question the practice feel pressured to subject their daughters to the rite.
The recent release of UNICEF's report about the practice it refers to as "female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C)" triggered lively coverage in national and international news outlets. News media have explored the study's findings of an unexpected decline in incidence in parts of Africa, new trends towards medicalization of the practice, and nuanced shifts in social perception. While the UNICEF report sparked critical discussion about the practice itself, the issue of terminology and its implications must not be overlooked.
The Unfinished Cairo Agenda: Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health for All”
Nearly 20 years after 179 nations committed to protect the reproductive health and rights of women and girls at the landmark UN International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, a major UN review of progress toward those commitments gives us the chance to ask, "Has life really changed for women and girls?"MORE
Has the LGBT Movement Failed in Uganda?
The author of this opinion article argues that rather than continuing to operate on an exclusive basis, the LGBT movement in Uganda should strive to nurture a multivariate movement for social justice, creating a multi-normative society for their safety and the peaceful coexistence of future generations.MORE
This resource is a very effective introduction to the concept of sex worker rights, and the sex worker rights movement. It discuses who sex workers are, and what is sex work, the rights of sex workers in places where sex work is illegal, and introduces a rights-based approach.download
Responding to Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Against Women: WHO Clinical and Policy Guidelines
These guidelines are an unprecedented effort to equip healthcare providers with evidence-based guidance as to how to respond to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women.
Global and Regional Estimates of Violence Against Women
The report presents the first global systematic review of scientific data on the prevalence of two forms of violence against women: violence by an intimate partner (intimate partner violence) and sexual violence by someone other than a partner (non-partner sexual violence).download
"I Will Never Be Cut": Kenyan Girls Fight Back Against Genital Mutilation