Nine out of ten married women in Egypt have undergone female circumcision.

The Lawyer

“I hope to go to court with my own mother one day, but she doesn’t want to. Not yet.”                    


Who:
Valentina Frolova
What: Lawyer at the Crisis Center for Women in St Petersburg.


The Activist

“We lesbians are not seen as either women or men.”


Who
: Kunu Semake
What:
Works for the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, and runs her own youth club.


The Support Person

“Those four months changed my life.”


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.”


The Doctors

“No-one really knows how to circumcise a woman.”


Who:
Magda Adly and Joseph Kamel.
What: Magda works with rehabilitation of victims of torture and violence in the home, and Joseph is a local doctor.  


The Lawyer

“Sometimes I sit in the courtroom and hold her hand, or stroke her back. I don’t want her to feel she is alone.”


Who:
Susanne Croné-Morell
What:
Is the victim’s own lawyer – the plaintiff’s lawyer.  


The Instructors

“We help the helpless to be able to manage on their own.”


Who:
LAV (Laissez l’ Afrique Vivre)
What:
Offers support and vocational training to young people  - rape victims, child soldiers and street children.

Eight young women sit bent over their treadle sewing machines. They have learned how to thread the machine and pump the treadle at the right speed to sew evenly and safely. Their first task is to sew a straight seam on a piece of paper.


The Youth Leader

“Partner violence in Santa Marta has not disappeared, but it is no longer hidden away.”


Who:
Itamar Silva
What:
Runs a project to raise equality awareness in the Grupo Eco youth group in the Santa Marta favela.


The Village Activists

“You only have to look at the TV series, and how badly the women behave. It’s because they haven’t been circumcised!”


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.