Globally, February 6 marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). Currently,more than 513,000 women and girls are at-risk of undergoing FGC in the US. California is the most impacted state, with more than 57,000 women and girls at risk. San Diego is the largest refugee resettlement site in the state, which warrants the need for greater action.
Due to the leadership of the Honorable Senator Toni Atkins, the State of California has passed SR-17 (Senate Resolution 17) relative to Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) Awareness Day. This measure will increase awareness of FGM/C across sectors and strengthen California’s response to end this practice. The measure will empower not only at-risk communities, but also stakeholders working on their behalf, with the knowledge needed to address the practice. SR-17 will enhance grassroots efforts to break the silence surrounding FGM/C.
Here’s how to help women and girls who have undergone or might be at risk of undergoing FGC:
Volunteer for ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs) and resettlement agencies that provide ongoing support and advocate for refugees.
Support your local community-based organizations financially to improve access to essential educational, healthcare, and legal services for refugee families.
—Find your elected representatives Go»
—Call or write your representatives to support the following:
—International Violence Against Women Act of 2015, HR-1340
—Repairing Young Women’s Lives Around the World Act, HR-2114
—The Zero Tolerance for FGM Act of 2015,HR-8
—Use social media to support gender equality and women’s empowerment
If you or anyone you know is at risk of undergoing FGC, contact the following:
—California County Emergency Response, Child Abuse Reporting Hotline, San Diego (800) 344–6000
—County of San Diego, Child Abuse Hotline (858) 560–2191
—Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the Department of Justice (202) 616–2492
—San Diego FBI Field Office (858) 320–1800
—US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health (800) 994–9662