Female Genital Mutilation alive, well & also practiced on United States girls

razor used for FGM
A woman in Mombasa, Kenya, shows the razorblade she uses to cut girls’ genitals. Photograph: Ivan Lieman/Barcroft Media via The Guardian
A new investigation turned up about 70 million more victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) worldwide than previously known, many living in Indonesia. About half a million are girls from the United States of America, sometimes brought overseas by their parents for “vacation cutting”.

The UN shares these key facts about the practice:

  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

The Guardian’s Jessica Elgot reports,

In Guinea, where 97% of girls aged 15 to 49 are FGM victims despite the practice being outlawed, Unicef staff described seeing girls taken away from their families against their will to be cut, on the orders of village authorities. One five-year-old died from her wounds. read more

New interactive website helps you see and understand US foreign aid spending

Recipients of US foreign aid
Source: foreignassistance.gov
The government has a new interactive website for tracking US aid to foreign countries foreignassistance.gov. In 2016, a total of $33.7B in aid is planned with largest recipients being:

Israel, $3.1B
Four Arabic countries, $4.8B total
Four African countries will, roughly half a billion each
Ukraine, about half a billion

Yale sponsors 1st African Arts & Culture Festival

Africa Salon at Yale
Africa Salon, Yale’s first annual contemporary African arts and culture festival — featuring some of today’s top artists from the continent and diaspora — will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28.

Hosted by the Yale Africa Initiative, the interactive event will include a series of panels, readings, exhibits, and performances.

The event will open on Friday evening with a panel moderated by Michael Veal, professor of music and African American studies. Saturday’s events will include a series of panels — each accompanied by a performance or visual presentation — highlighting key artists and their work in contemporary African literature, visual art, film, music, fashion, and dance. At each panel, faculty and students who are producing artistic work on Africa will be featured. read more