How points and miles can help end female genital mutilation

Feb 6, 2020

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Female genital mutilation, or FGM, has affected more than 200 million women and girls around the world — and there are 68 million girls still at risk until 2030.

Thursday, 6 February, is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. And to mark the day, we’re releasing a video highlighting our efforts to help end FGM.

FGM is now seen as a global issue and has affected women and girls in Europe, North America, and South America and Australia, but many of the countries where it is highly prevalent are on the African continent, as well as parts of the Middle East and Asia, such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

In June 2019, TPG U.K. used its points, miles and travel prowess to fly several activists to the first African Summit on Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage in Dakar, Senegal, in an effort to make sure the right people were at the table to plan for Africa’s future and a world free from FGM and child marriage.

Kenyan activist, Jeremiah Kipainoi Umaka, was flown by TPG UK to Dakar (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)
Kenyan activist, Josephine Kulea, was also flown by TPG UK to Dakar (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)

The Dakar Summit was the first-ever pan-African summit to end FGM and child marriage. It was led by Nobel Peace Prize-nominated survivor and activist Jaha Dukureh, founder of Safe Hands for Girls. The conference was attended by activists and government representatives from all over Africa.

As a result of the conference, Al Ahzar University in Egypt, the leading Islamic school of theology, issued a Fatwa against child marriage. The move also fuelled the continent-wide momentum to end both of these extreme forms of violence against girls.

Jaha Dukureh, founder of Safe Hands for Girls, makes a passionate plea at the Dakar Summit (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)

TPG U.K. has learned about and been guided on how we can help to end FGM through our partnership with Nimco Ali, OBE, CEO of The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership To End FGM. Nimco underwent FGM at the age of 7 while on holiday on Djibouti. For the past decade, she has worked to make sure that FGM is raised to the top of the policy agenda in the U.K. and around the world.

“I go to a lot of events, but the pan-African Summit in Dakar was so different as it was actually led by African survivor activists”, Ali said to TPG U.K. “During the panels, we sat at the same level as government ministers. We were equal participants in deciding how we want our continent to move forward, rather than be used as faces or ambassadors”.

Jaha Dukureh and Nimco Ali at the Dakar Summit (Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy)

Part of the fight against FGM and child marriage is raising awareness about the issues and creating conversation.

“I hope donors will get behind this African and survivor-led work to end FGM. For too long we have been funding in the wrong way. We know how to best make sure change happens on our own continent. It’s time to get this right and support the activism that works”.

For more information on how to help end FGM, check out The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership To End FGM.

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

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