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CHASING THE CUT Trailer

Watch the trailer to our film about Female Genital Mutilation
Also, please support our Indiegogo campaign to finish the film, end forced child marriages and offer girls and women with fistula free surgery to fix the fistula. We have only 9 day only, please donate to our campaign today through this link http://igg.me/at/chasingthecut/x/639146

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19 hours left to help end Female Genital Mutilation

We have only 19 hours left for our campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation. We wouldn’t have got here without your support and contributions. Thank you so much!
Please donate and do us a favor and encourage at least 3 friends to donate too because we have to raise the remaining portion of the budget in the remaining 19 hours. Share with them the campaign link and encourage them to donate http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kata-ending-female-genital-mutilation

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Thank you again for your love and support.

Your Button Badge for supporting victims of Female Genital Mutilation

Thank you for supporting my work to end Female Genital Mutilation in East Africa and supporting my campaign to film and produce ‘Chasing the Cut’, a documentary film about Female Genital Mutilation. I just added a new gift,  button badge that you can attach to your lapel to show support for victims of Female Genital Mutilation.

I have only 150 pieces, please grab yours ASAP. It’s now the new featured perk and  has a ‘featured perk’ label on top of the perk list. Visit my campaign page HERE  and select your button badge. Alternatively, use this URL to go my campaign page  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kata-ending-female-genital-mutilation

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I am very excited about this badge!

Inspiring Change by Ending Female Genital Mutilation

Source: Performing Humanity

By Ahabwe Mugerwa Michael

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, in part because it constitutes an extreme form of discrimination. Within the practice, girls between eight and fourteen years of age are cut by elderly women who are untrained in medicine and often use unsterilized razor blades or knives. The practice, allegedly, initiates these girls into womanhood and subsequently leads to early marriages.Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 11.16.51 AM

FGM has no health benefits, and the harm it causes victims has both short and long term health consequences, including infection such as HIV from unsterilized instruments, psychological trauma, and, in some cases, death from excessive bleeding. Later in life, FGM can lead to complications in childbirth and increase the risk of the mother and infant mortality (1).

In East Africa, FGM is practiced by several tribes with proponents arguing that it initiates girls into womanhood and increases their chances of being married off. Other tribes believe that cutting off some of parts of the females genitalia like the clitoris reduces cases of girls and married women engaging in sex outside the boundaries of marriage. Promoters of FGM have little regard (if any) for girls and women’s lives lost or for the suffering that they experience after undergoing this cruel and life-threatening ordeal.

Despite the recently passed legislation against Female Genital Mutilation in some East Africa Community member States, hundreds of infants, girls, and women are still forced to undergo the knife. Young girls run away from their homes for fear of undergoing FGM and miss school while others drop out of school. Local political leaders shy from publicly condemning the practice for fear of losing elections; and in some cases they have even helped offenders escape being prosecuted in Courts of law. Girls and women are not informed about their rights and protection provided by the available legislations (2). My visits to communities that practice FGM in Eastern Uganda have exposed to me to the need to continuously inform communities about the dangers of the practice and to empower communities directly to take part in projects and efforts that end FGM. Such community empowerment emerges from increased investment in girls’ education, assisting local rights activists in leading anti-FGM activities, and continuously exposing the dangers of FGM through locally preferred forms such as film, and dance and drama performances, which can easily be used to engage illiterate communities.

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During my most recent trip in February to a community that practices FGM in Eastern Uganda, I met girls who had been forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation and needed collective surgery. As a result of unskilled surgical cutting, many of the girls pass urine uncontrollably and require surgery to fix their fistula. My trip inspired me to work to create positive change in these communities; and I am to help girls live in safer communities that promote their full potential as individuals. I decided to produce a film documentary about girls and women forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation in order to bring personal stories to the world about girls and women who are either at risk of being forced into FGM or those who have experienced health complications or death as a result of undergoing FGM.  I am now in my final stages to travel to Eastern Uganda, and Western and Central Kenya between April through to May to film and produce the documentary. Via Indiegogo I am raising funds to make film, organize public screenings across  East Africa, and carry out FGM campaigns that organize a procession of hundreds of Activists to deliver a petition to the East Legislative Assembly in Arusha Tanzania.  I am excited by the prospect of reaching to millions of people and inspiring change through film a to make a difference.

FGM is not only a women’s issue. Men must also actively take part in ending Female Genital Mutilation instead of promoting it, as is the case in communities that practice FGM, where men argue that it produces better wives. By educating about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation and assessing our community needs, we can then shape our own plans to completely stop Female Genital Mutilation. It’s our communal duty to protect and observe women’s rights and human rights, to end the social, cultural, and political causes of Female Genital Mutilation, and, above all, to demand for action from governments.  I am committed to lead the call for change and help girls live healthier lives.

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Ahabwe Mugerwa Michael is the founder of two nonprofits in Uganda: ICOD Action Network and Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies. He is the Uganda Ambassador for Global Minorities Alliance.

Currently he serves as an associate consultant with Praxis Consult International, working on a girl-child education program in South Sudan. He previously volunteered with Lawyers Collective as a Uganda research partner in charge of identifying, summarizing, and translating court cases that impact the right to health in Uganda.

In addition to working on ending Female Genital Mutilation in East Africa, he is a food rights advocate and change maker, and he and has 10 years in the non profit sector. Ahabwe is an experienced public speaker with who has shared work both Uganda, South Sudan, and the U.S.

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Works Cited:

(1) The World Health Organization, “Female Genital Mutilation,” Fact Sheet No. 241 (February 2014): http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/.

(2) Center for Human Rights and Policy Studies: www.chupost.org.

Image Credits:

Tracy McVeigh and Tara Sutton, The Observer, 24 July 2010.

UNICEF.

What the world thinks about Female Genital Mutilation

This is what some people who have signed my petition demanding firm action against Female Genital Mutilation are saying. There are hundreds of wonderful comments on the petition page, I am sharing these today.

Dowling .M.

“FGM is a barbaric, dangerous and cruel practice that must be ended for ever, NOW.”

Cynthia

“FGM should be brought to an END”

Hilary

“FGM is, quite simply, an abhorrent denial of basic human rights – however it is perceived and explained, it must stop. Thank you.”

Lisa

“Educate all citizens, empower those at risk, and end FGM”

Leigh

“It’s the 21st Century… it’s time this unnecessary cruelty was put a stop to.”

Ayana .M.

“The ritual is absolutely inhumane (unnatural, disrespectful to our mother/father creator’s creation of the female body which was created w/ perfect purpose). The act is oppressive, horrific to any child’s emotional and psychological [mental] health, and is an underhanded tactic to mold/structure from a baby, a diminished self-esteem in young girl’s by the time they reach adolescence. I know for a FACT and with good reason that this unnecessary and unproductive ritual is definitely resulting from East Africa and the Mid Sib-Saharan government’s conscious or unconscious unmet needs due to poverty, stemming from a lack of resources, embezzlement of government funds (government fraud), with the root cause being unjust [government] leadership and spiritual ignorance. U.S. Person’s of Power w/ public leadership status (e.g. Oprah Winfrey) or somebody w/powerful [amicable (peacemaking) and negotiation] leadership abilities from the U.S. needs to step up and intervene to eradicate this barbaric, senseless, uncivilized act of despondence and hate presenting itself as self-hatred and self-mutilation…”

Join us and sign the petition HERE

REFERRAL CONTEST AND GREAT PRIZES; GRAB ONE NOW

Referral prizes  for KATA (Cut) – a film to end Female Genital Mutilation. Grab one NOW

I am excited to announce the first of the referral competitions.

Thank you for your incredible support and helping me reach out to the first funder. I am now rolling out a number of fantastic referral prizes in the coming days as we push for the fundraising goal and grow our efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation.

COMPETITION DETAILS

  • The first referral competition runs from today Friday February 21, 2014 until Monday February 24, 2014 19:00 GMT.
  • The top referrers will be ranked based on people that they have referred to my campaign and the total level of contribution from those referrals.
  • To start referring, share the campaign link (below the video on KATA’s Indiegogo home page) and get your network to contribute. Make sure you use that link to track your referrals.
  • I will publish a regular board on the campaign update page

–       1st prize for the top referrer is a beautiful African art piece perfect for your living room this summer.

–       2nd place gets a signed handed written letter, a pair of African earrings if female or a bark cloth wallet if male.

–       I will send a thank you note on the campaign’s update section for the first 10 referrers

–       Anyone worldwide can participate

Thank you everyone for your fantastic support.

You only have a few days, so get referring now and win of these great prizes and keep watching of other great prizes to come on Tuesday February 25, 2014.

Michael

(Please share my campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kata-ending-female-genital-mutilation) with a friend and ask the to donate to my campaign today)

Join me to end Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. FGM, which is often carried out with unsterilized instruments, can cause severe health and psychological problems. In some cases, girls bleed to death or die from infections. Later in life, FGM can lead to complications in childbirth and increase the risk of the mother and/or baby dying. The practice also violates a women’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death. I think it’s our duty to protect and observe women rights, end the social, cultural and political causes of Female Genital Mutilation and above of all, demand for action from governments. As you are read this, there are between 8 and 10 million women and girls in the Middle East and in Africa who are at risk of undergoing one form or another of genital cutting and more than 125 million girls and women have been subjected to the ordeal. February 6th,is the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. Please join me NOW, give me your voice and donation here http://igg.me/at/kata/x/639146

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Join the celebration; Celebrate Water

Welcoming our new and latest funder to Celebrate Water campaign. You can also be part of the celebration here http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/celebrate-water-give-a-gift-that-overflows

Why you should join the celebration

For the last 5 years, we have been providing sustainable housing solutions and safe water to women and children living with HIV/AIDS. Without safe water in their homes, many women and girls become victims of physical attack and sexual violence as they walk long distances to collect water; families are hit by frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery because of sharing open water sources with animals; and girls dropout of school as they spend, on average, between 30 minutes to 90 minutes walking to look for  water.

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We are working to end this by providing safe water to families affected by HIV/AIDS. Women and girls are the main providers of household water supply and sanitation in Uganda, and also have the primary responsibility for maintaining a clean home environment. The lack of access to safe water and sanitation facilities therefore affects women and girls most acutely. This a situation we all need to end so that women can live healthier lives. Your donation will help us provide hundreds of women and children with clean and safe water in their homes.

Join NOW HERE

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Celebrate Water with a Gift that Overflows

The burden of fetching drinking water from outdoor sources falls disproportionately on girls and women. A context Analysis of Lyantonde District in June 2013, shows that in almost 91.2% of households without a drinking water source in a distance of less than one kilometer, it is women and girls who collect water. Time taken collecting water is between 30 minutes to 90 minutes which considerably reduces the time women and girls have available for other activities such as childcare, income generation and school attendance.

Education: Girls often have to walk long distances to fetch water in the early morning. After such an arduous chore, they may arrive late and tired at school. Being ‘needed at home’ is a major reason why children, especially girls from poor families, drop out of school. Providing water closer to homes increases girls’ free time and boosts their school attendance.

HIV and AIDS: The absence of clean water and sanitation also increases the risk of opportunistic infections and diarrhea diseases among people living with HIV and AIDS. In Uganda, HIV prevalence rate is estimated to be at 8.3 percent in women and girls. Women and girls are also the caregivers of chronically sick family members. With better access to water and sanitation facilities, the burden on households caring for AIDS-affected members is reduced.

Rape and abuse: Without access to water, many women and girls become victims of physical attack and sexual violence as they travel long distances to collect water. Women and girls move long distance through to and from water sources making them victims of ‘roadside’ attacks, bullying ,rape and attacks from roadside predators like snakes. Join our campaign to end this and lets promote women and children health together. Join us here http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/celebrate-water-with-a-gift-that-overflows