Who: Enayat Abdelhanid
What: Midwife who has changed her opinion and is now opposed to genital mutilation.
“I used to circumcise up to twenty girls a day, and I was paid in money, tea and sugar. We used to cut out three parts. We held the girl down and she usually screamed. When I look back on it, I feel genuine regret and compassion.”
Who: BLACD (The Better Life Association for Comprehensive Development).
What: Visit the villages to talk about genital mutilation, and have radically changed the situation. These days only one in ten girls undergoes genital mutilation; previously the figure was nine in ten.
Who: Casa Amiga
What: Centre for support and advice for women who have been subjected to violence.
She was a retired accountant who settled in Juarez where, in 1993, she began to notice the many reports in the local paper of young girls who had been found murdered and raped. Why was this spate of murders not attracting any attention?
Who: Paulina Bengtson
What: Runs Novahuset, a voluntary association which supports victims of sexual assault.
“Actually, I had a feeling straight away that something was wrong. He looked like someone from the Mafia, not at all as gentle as he’d seemed. But I was gullible and ignored my own warning signals. I was used to trusting people.”
Who: Marta and Rick Omilian
What: Manage the Remembering Maggie Fund, which spreads information about violence among young people and agitates against the US liberal weapons legislation.
What: Uses her position as “village mother” to work against violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Both Motshidisi’s daughter and her ex-husband died of AIDS. Since then she has talked and talked and talked about the disease - and about the violence. Slowly, people are beginning to respond.