In many communities around the world, Female Genital Mutation is a mark of womanhood. It can also mean early and forced marriage for poor, vulnerable girls in rural areas.
Tanzania, where 7.9 million women have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is no exception. Fueled by ancestral beliefs and economic motivations, the practice is still common in many villages and tribes even though FGM has been illegal in the country since 1998. For many women who live in rural areas, their livelihood depends on performing FGM on girls in their villages. Many families believe the ritual will secure their daughters' future through marriage, but for girls it results in irreparable physical and psychological harm.
December is an infamous month for FGM, it is even called "the Season of Cutting". As the end of the year fast approaches, we know that many girls will be victims of this procedure and some may die. Join us to help end the season of cutting.
Crossroads has teamed up with local partners in Tanzania to bring an end to Female Genital Mutilation. Recognizing FGM is both a women's rights issue and an economic one, we are strengthening women's economic power by introducing new diversified and sustainable farming techniques to increase income, while educating the communities about the harms of FGM and other forms of gender-based violence. Last year, 136 girls were saved from cutting in communities of Kipunguni, Mbeya, Tarime and Magoto. However, there is still tremendous work to be done, as 3 million more girls are at risk annually. Because of the impact of COVID-19, girls are even more susceptible of being cut. With school closures, increased poverty and movement restrictions, girls cannot access the help they may need to fight against this violation of their rights. This is why your voice and your engagement are more important than ever.
October 11, 2020 will mark International Day of the Girl and this year we need you to take a stand with us to protect girls and end Female Genital Mutilation — in Tanzania, and around the world.
Will you stand with us?