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    FGM Recommended Book List

    Female mutilationFemale Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation - Author: Hilary Burrage 

    Goodreads rating: 3.75 (8 ratings)

    The numbers of girls and women affected around the world are staggering. Death is not an uncommon outcome. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or complete removal of the external female genitals for cultural rather than medical or religious reasons—its origin is unknown. Practitioners believe the procedure enhances the girl’s health, hygiene, chastity, fertility and marriage prospects—the truth is it obliterates sexual pleasure, causes severe health problems and is sometimes fatal. This book covers this controversial cultural practice that is taking place around the world including in Western countries where it is illegal. Read the harrowing stories of women who have been genitally mutilated, their accounts of survival and their determination to end this injustice. Find out what is being done to combat this crime against women from those committed to see change.


    Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective41Gd50Pzm6L. SX331 BO1204203200  - Author: Hilary Burrage   

    It is a book about pathways to eradicating FGM in the UK and around the world, and a detailed handbook-textbook which covers global and historic/political issues from a socio-economic as well as educational, legal and medical aspects.






    44589125Among the Maasai: a Memoir  - Author: Juliet Cutler 

    Goodreads rating: 4.59 (24 ratings)

    In 1999, Juliet Cutler leaves the United States to teach at the first school for Maasai girls in East Africa. Captivated by the stories of young Maasai women determined to get an education in the midst of a culture caught between the past and the future, she seeks to empower and support her students as they struggle to define their own fates.
    Cutler soon learns that behind their shy smiles and timid facades, her Maasai students are much stronger than they appear. For them, adolescence requires navigating a risky world of forced marriages, rape, and genital cutting, all in the midst of a culture grappling with globalization. In the face of these challenges, these young women believe education offers hope, and so, against all odds, they set off alone―traveling hundreds of miles and even forsaking their families―simply to go to school.
    Twenty years of involvement with this school and its students reveal to Cutler the important impacts of education across time, as well as the challenges inherent in tackling issues of human rights and extreme poverty across vastly different cultures. Working alongside local educators, Cutler emerges transformed by the community she finds in Tanzania and by witnessing the life-changing impact of education on her students.


    saving safaSaving Safa: Rescuing A Little Girl from FGM Author: Waris Dirie

    Waris Dirie is an extraordinary woman and important figure in the fight against FGM (female genital mutilation). Waris, a Somali model activist, published her first book Desert Flower in 1999. Desert flower is the meaning of Waris Dirie’s name, and that first book was about her own story: Waris was cut at the age of five, sold in marriage at thirteen, but eventually went on to become a model, and at the age of thirty joined the UN as a spokeswoman against FGM.

    Saving Safa is Waris’ new book about a young girl, little Safa from Djibouti, who was chosen to play Waris in a film. It was a role that changed and saved her life when, a few years later, the young actress was at risk of being cut – the model flew out to Djbouti to save her. The book also details Waris Dirie’s establishment of the Desert Flower Foundation, a charity which is fighting to save the lives of one million girls from FGM.


    Cut flowersCut Flowers  Author: Aneeta Prem 

    Goodreads rating: 5 (only 2 reviews)

     Katie and Sophia are just two ordinary girls eagerly awaiting the summer holidays until their teacher, Miss Adams, gives them their summer homework – to prepare a presentation about what they did over the holidays. Little did they know that it would be the start of a lifelong mission to protect young girls all over the world. The adventure starts when Katie and her family go to Africa to meet her Granny Jojo and cousins for the first time. But behind the fun in the sun and the safari trips, something’s not quite right. Katie stumbles upon an old family secret and it’s up to her to get things out in the open. What really happened to her Aunt Daisy, and why does no one ever talk about her anymore? With her mum’s help, Katie finally begins to understand what happened all those years ago, but will she uncover the truth in time to save herself and her cousin Sweetpea from a similar fate?


    Do they hear when you cryDo They Hear You When You Cry  Author: Fauziya Kassindja

    Goodreads rating: 4.21

    For Fauziya Kassindja, an idyllic childhood in Togo, West Africa, sheltered from the tribal practices of polygamy and genital mutilation, ended with her beloved father’s sudden death. Forced into an arranged marriage at age seventeen, Fauziya was told to prepare for kakia, the ritual also known as female genital mutilation. It is a ritual no woman can refuse. But Fauziya dared to try. This is her story told in her own words – of fleeing Africa just hours before the ritual kakia was to take place, of seeking asylum in America only to be locked up in US prisons, and of meeting Layli Miller Bashir, a law student who became Fauziya’s friend and advocate during her horrifying sixteen months behind bars. Layli enlisted help from Karen Musalo, an expert in refugee law and acting director of the American University International Human Rights Clinic. In addition to devoting her own considerable efforts to the case, Musalo assembled a team to fight with her on Fauziya’s behalf. Ultimately, in a landmark decision in immigration history, Fauziya Kassindja was granted asylum on June 13, 1996. Do They Hear You When You Cry is her unforgettable chronicle of triumph.


    The War on Women The War on Women  Author: Sue Lloyd Roberts

    Goodreads rating 4.73

    In 1973, Sue Lloyd-Roberts joined ITN as a news trainee and went on to be one of the UK's first video-journalists to report from the bleak outposts of the Soviet Union. Travelling as a tourist, she also gained access to some of the world’s most impenetrable places like China, Tibet and Burma. During her 40-year-long career she witnessed the worst atrocities inflicted on women across the world. But in observing first-hand the war on the female race she also documented their incredible determination to fight back. The War on Women brings to life the inconceivable and dangerous life Sue led. It tells the story of orphan Mary Merritt who, age sixteen, instead of being released from the care of nuns was interned by them in a Magdalen Laundry and forced to work twelve hours a day six days a week, without pay, for over a decade. She gives voice to Maimouna, the woman responsible for taking over her mother’s role as the village female circumciser in The Gambia and provides a platform for the 11-year-old Manemma, who was married off in Jaipur at the age of six. From the gender pay gap in Britain to forced marriage in Kashmir and from rape as a weapon of war to honour killings, Sue has examined humankind’s history and takes us on a journey to analyse the state of women’s lives today. Most importantly she acts as a mouthpiece for the brave ones; the ones who challenge wrongdoing; the ones who show courage no matter how afraid they are; the ones who are combatting violence across the globe; the ones who are fighting back.


    However long the nightHowever Long the Night  Author: Aimee Molloy

    Goodreads rating: 4.17

    In However Long the Night, Aimee Molloy tells the unlikely and inspiring story of Molly Melching, an American woman whose experience as an exchange student in Senegal led her to found Tostan and dedicate almost four decades of her life to the girls and women of Africa. This moving biography details Melching's beginnings at the University of Dakar and follows her journey of 40 years in Africa, where she became a social entrepreneur and one of humanity's strongest voices for the rights of girls and women. Inspirational and beautifully written, However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph is a passionate entreaty for all global citizens. This book is published in partnership with the Skoll Foundation, dedicated to accelerating innovations from organizations like Tostan that address the world's most pressing problems.


    Cut Cut: One Woman's Fight Against FGM in Britain Today  Author Hibo Wardere      

    Goodreads rating: 4.57

    Imagine for a moment that you are 6-years-old and you are woken in the early hours, bathed and then dressed in rags before being led down to an ominous looking tent at the end of your garden. And there, you are subjected to the cruellest cut, ordered by your own mother. Forced down on a bed, her legs held apart, Hibo Warderewas made to undergo female genital cutting, a process so brutal, she nearly died. As a teenager she moved to London in the shadow of the Somalian Civil War where she quickly learnt the procedure she had undergone in her home country was not 'normal' in the west. She embarked on a journey to understand FGM and its roots, whilst raising her own family and dealing with the devastating consequences of the cutting in her own life. Today Hibo finds herself working in London as an FGM campaigner, helping young girls whose families plan to take them abroad for the procedure. She has vowed to devote herself to the campaign against FGM. Eloquent and searingly honest, this is Hibo's memoir which promises not only to tell her remarkable story but also to shed light on a medieval practice that's being carried out in the 21stcentury, right on our doorstep. FGM in the UK has gone undocumented for too long and now that's going to change. Devastating, empowering and informative, this book brings to life a clash of cultures at the heart of contemporary society and shows how female genital mutilation is a very British problem.



    Possessing the Secret of Joy - Author: Alice Walker

    Goodreads rating: 4.08

    Possessing the Secret of Joy is the story of Tashi, a tribal African woman who lives much of her adult life in North America. As a young woman, a misguided loyalty to the customs of her people led her to voluntarily submit to the tsunga's knife and be genitally mutilated (pharoanoically circumcised). Severely traumatized by this experience, she spends the rest of her life battling madness, trying desperately through psychotherapy - she is treated by disciples of both Freud and C.G. Jung, and even by Jung himself - to regain the ability to recognize her own reality and to feel. It is only with the help of the most unlikely ally she can imagine that she begins to study the mythological "reasons" invented by her ancient ancestors for what was done to her and to millions of other women and girls over thousands of years. As her understanding grows, so does her capacity to encounter her overwhelming grief. Underneath this grief is her glowing anger. Anger propels her to act. Action brings both feeling - life, the ability to exist with awareness in the moment - and death, of which she finds she has completely lost her fear.

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