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Photo from an FGM conference UnCUT/VOICES sponsored at the University of Oxford, March 9, 2018.

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Photo: I took this of Efua Dorkenoo OBE in the late 1990s in the office of FORWARD (UK) in the Africa Center, Covent Garden, London.

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THE SCOURGE by Olubunmi Temitope Oyesanya. Oil on Canvas. 2008.


BIO: Working mainly with oil on canvas, Ms. Oyesanya has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally, for instance in Geneva, Switzerland; Gent, Belgium, and Dortmund, Germany. She has produced a second painting called “The Victim” specifically to protest against FGM.


ABOUT THE WORK: Chosen for the cover of the Gent exhibition catalogue, Vrouwen, een Leven vol Pijn. Genitale verminking. Een kunstzinnige confrontatie, “The Scourge” strikes the viewer not only with its bold, harsh pigments but its unequivocal symbols: the cowry (standing for both money and sex); the blade; the blood; and the perspective, foregrounding netherparts while shrinking the head, organ of thought. The wasp waist makes a statement as well. Europe knew it, too, from the nineteenth into the twentieth centuries as a painful, health-destroying imposition on the female figure for (presumed) beauty’s sake.

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Tobe Levin von Gleichen (l) and Hilary Burrage (right) seek advice from Efua Dorkenoo OBE at Brown’s in Islington, London, in 2013.

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“Le progrès du mouvement contre les mutilations sexuelles féminines en Angleterre et en Allemagne.” L’Université de Paris 8 (Vincennes/St. Denis). 2 March 2016. Tobe Levin von Gleichen, in a speech about the German and UK movements against FGM, refers to Simone de Beauvoir, interviewed on the screen by Alice Schwarzer.

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At left, Dr. Edna Adan Ismail; Dr. Tobe Levin von Gleichen, Dr. Isatou Touray; at right, Kameel Ahmady, Godfrey Williams-Okorodus, Holger Postulart, Tobe, Elisabeth Wilson and Edna attending the Inter-African Committee co-sponsored FGM Conference. Human Rights Council, Geneva. 11 May 2016.

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Readings with Hubert Prolongeau from Undoing FGM. Pierre Foldes, the Surgeon Who Restores the Clitoris. On International Women’s Day at Harvard University, The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Cambridge, MA. 8 March 2012.  

Left to right, back row: Dr. Hal Weaver, Dale Smoak, Dr. Jasmine DeCock. Front row, l to r: Susan McLucas, Director, Healthy Tomorrow/Sini Sanuman; Hubert Prolongeau; Dr. Abby Wolf, Executive Director of the Hutchins Center; Dr. Tobe Levin von Gleichen; Dr. Mariane Sarkis; Dr. Krishna Lewis.

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Reading with Hubert Prolongeau from Undoing FGM. Pierre Foldes, the Surgeon Who Restores the Clitoris. Dataforce, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 16 February 2012.

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Reading with Hubert Prolongeau from Undoing FGM. Pierre Foldes, the Surgeon Who Restores the Clitoris. Dataforce, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 16 February 2012.

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Dr. Pierre Foldes is second from the left at a Speak-Out on 4 September 2014 at the Women-Safe Centre, St- Germain-en-Laye. Tobe Levin is in the front row fourth from the right. UnCUT/VOICES' author Jeanie Kortum (Stones) stands at the right.

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Tobe Levin von Gleichen interviews Dr. Pierre Foldes in his office in St. Germain-en-Laye, April 2011.

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Khady in 2008, at a reception in the Schlosshotel Kronberg for the Honourable Ambassador from Mali to Germany, Fatoumata Siré Diakité

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President Khady Koita and Els Leye of the University of Ghent in 2011 at a meeting of EuroNet-FGM.

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Here are a few translations of Khady's book.

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For further information and notes from the meeting, email Dr. Tobe Levin von Gleichen tlevin@fas.harvard.edu

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“THE GLOBAL HEALTH SOCIETY” HOSTS UNCUT/VOICES PRESS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HEIDELBERG MEDICAL SCHOOL

December 2, 2014

At the Krehl Klinik for internal medicine,  University of Heidelberg, Tobe Levin asked students to consider the pivotal importance of clinicians in ending FGM. Highlighted were the guidance offered by the Inter-African Committee in its Bamako Declaration and in the words of survivors like Khady and Kiminta. Thanks to enthusiastic students and hosts Kariyo Grace Nyandwi and professor Olaf Horstick.

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NEW JOURNALISM AWARD NAMED AFTER EFUA DORKENOO

Ocotober 30, 2014

Reporting on Ban Ki-moon’s backing for the Guardian’s global media campaign (30 October 2014), Alexandra Topping writes: “Ban also announced a reporting award will be granted annually to an African reporter who has demonstrated innovation and commitment in covering FGM. The winner will spend two months training and working in the Guardian’s head offices in London. The award is named after Efua Dorkenoo, who campaigned against FGM for 30 years before her death earlier this month, and headed up the Girl Generation consortium.”

Thank you again, Efua. We couldn’t be more proud of our mentor and friend.

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THINKING ABOUT FEMICIDE AND FGM

October 20, 2014

Have you ever thought about the relationship between femicide/gendercide and FGM? On October 20, 2014, UnCUT/VOICES’ CEO Tobe Levin von Gleichen offered “Guidelines for Thinking about Femicide … or toward understanding without despair,” a lecture requested by Oxford University’s charity Women for Women International.

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HILARY BURRAGE AND TOBE LEVIN ATTEND PLAN UK’S CELEBRATION OF THE “INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD" IN LONDON

October 14, 2014

On October 14, 2014, Hilary Burrage and Tobe Levin attended PLAN UK’s celebration of the “International Day of the Girl Child” where, in the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre, London, Hilary introduced Tobe and hence UnCUT/VOICES Press to the Shadow Home Office Minister for Preventing Violence Against Women, Seema Malhotra, MP. In her speech as part of the ‘Pathways to Power’ panel, the Member of Parliament emphasized her support for empowering girls as a strategy against harassment and coercive force, including FGM and child or forced marriage, and promised that a Labour Party victory would witness “landmark legislation” on violence against women. The safety of boys, though often the bullies, was also part of her mandate, and she urged young women to “connect with politicians to bring about change.” The venue afforded discussion with other attendees, most important with two key allies among academics in the British movement against FGM, Professor Hazel Barrett of Coventry University and Louise Robertson, an active researcher with the charity 28TooMany that has been advising the Oxford University study group on FGM.

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GOOD NEWS ABOUT SIERRA LEONE

September 20, 2014

On September 20, 2014, prefacing her remarks with gratitude to find committed allies against FGM in the Diaspora from Sierra Leone, Tobe Levin explained one “Response of the German community to FGM.” The invitation from Catherine Kambo, president of the KGSS-OGA e.V. to FORWARD-Germany — Levin is now Vice-President — provided an opportunity to describe the Clitoris Restoration Fund inspired by Dr. Pierre Foldes, subject of Hubert Prolongeau’s Undoing FGM. In the city hall in Schwalbach outside Frankfurt, the Sierra Leonean Association — a Bondo group — had combined a girls’ alternative rite of passage with a symposium on FGM and teen pregnancy. On the podium were imams and other Islamic and Christian male leaders embracing the cause of abolition.