ST. PAUL, Minn., April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- America Matters will host a #StopFGM Day at the Minnesota State Capitol, Monday, April 9 at 10:00 a.m. CST. The event is being held to raise awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Minnesota, as state policy makers consider House File 2621 to expand penalties and victim protections for FGM. The #StopFGM Day will feature talks from FGM survivors, legislators, activists, and experts who will be available for questions following the event. It is open to the public.
In 1994, Minnesota became the first state to criminalize female genital mutilation. Rep. Mary Franson introduced House File 2621 in 2017 to update existing laws to increase penalties, hold parents and guardians accountable, expand protections for at-risk children or those who have undergone the practice, and update the education and outreach activities for affected communities and medical professionals.
Rep. Franson says she introduced the bill because "America is the home of the brave and the land of the free. Little girls need to know they they are free from FGM in America."
FGM gained national attention when Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was charged with genitally mutilating two seven year-old girls who were transported from Minnesota to the Burhani Medical Clinic in Detroit where the ritualized practice took place.
Over 500,000 girls are at risk or have undergone FGM in America; 25,000 or more of these girls reside in Minnesota. Lt. Col. Samantha Nerove, USA, Ret., CEO of America Matters and Executive Director of the #StopFGM Coalition says, "We have a responsibility to protect children from absolutely anyone who intends to mutilate them. FGM inflicts a lifetime of physical pain and emotional suffering. We must work together to stop female genital mutilation."
America Matters and the #StopFGM Coalition provide educational seminars on FGM and advocates for state-level FGM legislation through events like #StopFGM Day. Americans can support the movement to end this gender-based violence against women by contacting their state representatives and signing the petition to tell policy makers to enact state laws now.
Samantha Nerove is Founder/CEO of America Matters, a non-profit foundation that focuses on issues people care about not party or politics. She's a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, paratrooper, and combat veteran.
SOURCE America Matters