Women World Wide: March 2024

March 9, 2024

by Artemis

Photo: Amazonian Initiative Movement

In Sierra Leone, Rugiatu Turay founded the Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM) in 2000 with fellow survivors of female genital mutilation. FGM is part of a girl coming of age ritual, the Bondo, one of the few times a woman is celebrated in an unequal society. AIM works to replace it with the Bloodless Bondo, so girls can still receive adult status and be taught the same household skills and cultural history from older women. AIM promotes girls’ schools to help women achieve equality. They encourage women who are traditional “cutters” to “drop the knife,” teaching them other means of income like agriculture, candle making and sewing. AIM is part of the Forum Against Harmful Practices, a countrywide network sending activists to villages when a girl dies from FGM. They pressure police to investigate and arrest cutters and any family members involved, as happened when three girls died in January.


In 2024, a coalition of survivor-led organizations, #FrontlineEndingFGM, will begin a two-year, 7,400-mile caravan journey through 20 African countries. At the border of each, one caravan will hand over to the next an anti-FGM banner and a “Dear Daughter” pledge book signed by families promising to protect daughters from the practice. Activists, medical professionals and religious leaders will hold a series of events, radio broadcasts, and documentary viewings in high-prevalence areas educating the public about the harms of FGM. Survivor Ifrah Ahmed, founder of the anti-FGM Ifrah Foundation in Somalia, said documentaries are important. “It is one thing to tell them that young girls are dying from FGM, it’s another for them to see it.” She added, “It will have a huge impact for the community to hear a religious leader say that it’s not a religious practice, but a cultural one.” One organization, Global Media Campaign to End FGM, hopes to end FGM by 2030.


Photo: Asian Women for Equality

In February, feminist collective Asian Women for Equality sent an open letter to the Mayor and Council of the City of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, calling for them to stop issuing business licenses to massage parlors and other venues of prostitution. These have been illegal since 2014, when Canada signed into law the Equality model, decriminalizing prostituted people while arresting pimps and buyers. AWE called for police investigations into these venues as sites of human trafficking, male violence against women and money laundering. They invited them to work with women’s equality groups developing a public education campaign about Canada’s laws around prostitution. These businesses are often Asian themed, exploiting immigrant and migrant women who have the right to know the truth about their rights under the Canadian justice system without being misinformed by pimps, sex buyers, and prostitution industry advocates.


On March 8th, France became the first country to explicitly guarantee women’s legal right to abortion in its constitution. There was a standing ovation in Parliament after the measure passed with 780 in favor. Many of the 72 opposed believed it unnecessary because of France’s widespread support of abortion rights. However, the move was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade. Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti explained that many times in history “fundamental rights” believed secure were removed and “we now have irrefutable proof that no democracy, not even the largest of them all, is immune.” Right-wing groups in Europe threaten and overturn reproductive and other rights, and women in England and Wales are imprisoned when suspected of aborting past the legal limit.

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