Originally published on the Huffington Post Blog on 11 August 2014.
Have you ever been quizzed on a difficult topic by a complete stranger? Last week, on my journey home from Girl Summit, a young guy serving coffee on the train said, “I’ve heard a lot about that event you’ve been at and can see how important it is, but here’s the thing … I still don’t really know what FGM is.” He listened intently as I explained that 10,000 girls under the age of 15 in the UK are survivors of female genital cutting. He questioned why a woman who had been cut would let her own daughter suffer the same fate and so we talked about societal pressures on women and girls. This small exchange was the cherry on top of a motivating few days at the world’s first girls’ rights summit in London. However, it also indicates that the majority of people are still unaware of how widespread harmful traditional practices are, or what they can do to help end practices like FGM and child marriage. Without more advocacy, awareness raising and engaging youth in the fight we cannot make the world a safer place for women and girls.
On 22 July at the Girl Summit several hundred million pounds were committed to tackling female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage and a staggering 900 million people have pledged their support online. The challenge now is to maintain the momentum and keep the global focus on ending FGM and child marriage. Here’s how…
Read the rest of this story at huffingtonpost.com