In 2003, the birthday of the Inter-African Committee, February 6th, was declared International “Zero Tolerance” to FGM Day with two explicit aims. First, to bring the abuse to a more rapid end by, second, ensuring that the world sees the amputation of girls’ genitals as mutilation. The term mutilation – not a euphemism but a medically correct designation — was to be anchored in the official title of the event.
As we approach February 6th, there is a great deal to celebrate. First, Egypt’s Constitutional Court refused yesterday to hear a petition to scrap the law prohibiting FGM which, though hardly enforced, is welcome on the books. Second, the Italian Parliament is celebrating – February 3-5, the UN General Assembly’s condemnation of FGM, the culmination of the years’ long campaign in which Khady, with Emma Bonino and Alvila Jablonko, had been actively involved. And finally, Harvard will be hosting UnCUT/VOICES’ contribution to Zero Tolerance to FGM Day with Tobe Levin presenting her new edited book, Waging Empathy. Alice Walker, Possessing the Secret of Joy, and the Global Movement to Ban FGM. All are welcome to join us at NOON, February 7th, 2013, in the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, 104 Mount Auburn St. 3 R. in Cambridge, MA.