Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
Amnesty International has a powerful new visual ad campaign against Female Genital Mutilation. Close-ups (SFW) of the ads in question are here and here. [more inside]
Islam Outlaws Female Genital Mutilation "After listening to several international physicians, they pronounced the sensational decision to classify the custom of female genital mutilation (FGM) as punishable aggression and crime against humanity. As a result, the custom can no longer be practiced by Muslims. Now awareness of this decision has to be spread in the 33 affected countries." [+ WHO] and [+ wp]
Female genital mutilation is a blight on women's lives in many parts of Africa. Today's NY Times has a story, "Genital Cutting Shows Signs of Losing Favor in Africa" by Mark Lacey, that gives grounds for optimism:
Slowly, genital cutting is losing favor. Parliaments are passing laws forbidding the practice, which causes widespread death and disfigurement. Girls are fleeing their homes to keep their vaginas intact. And the women who have been carrying out the cutting, and who have been revered by their communities for doing so, are beginning to lay down their knives.(If you don't want to register with the NYT, here's the Mathaba.net copy.)
Hidden Controversy Over Abortion and Female Genital Mutilation at UN Summit At the United Nations Earth Summit, delegates from the United States opposed a Canadian proposal to require countries to provide health care "in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms," because American pro-life activists feared the wording would expand abortion rights. In addition, the Bush Administration does not want a confrontation with its ally, Saudi Arabia, over the issue of female genital mutilation.
SoCal MeFians take note: The Tahara Project Gala Fundraiser is coming up June 16 at the El Rey Theatre. Lots of amazing dancers raising money to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation.