Against the Current, No. 91, March/April 2001
Dirty Done Deals
— The Editors
Energy: The Fleecing of California
— Barry Sheppard
Fourthwrite for Irish Freedom
— Stuart Ross interviews Tommy McKearney
- Republican Dissidents Targeted
Yugoslavia's Post-Milosevic Paradox
— Catherine Samary
Canada: Activists Face the Future
— Toby Moorsom
Random Shots: Daimler and Dubya Chronicles
— R.F. Kampfer
- After the Stolen Election
Thieving Sons of Bushes
— Malik Miah
Asian American Activism Stirring
— Scott Kurashige
Ashcroft? The Road to Theocracy?
— Jack Breseé
The Rebel Girl: Broaden the Challenge
— Catherine Sameh
Nader, Greens and Socialists
— Howie Hawkins
- Women's World of Struggle
Training for Freedom in Senegal
— Mark Brenner interviews Amsatou Sow Sidibe
The Struggle to Stop Female Genital Mutilation
— Mark Brenner
India's Communalist Violence Against Women
— Soma Marik
Philippines Organizing and Repression
— Delia Aguilar interviews Vicvic Justiniani
- The Gulf War Ten Years After
Iraq's Torture by Sanctions
— an interview with Kathy Kelly
A Decade of Gulf War Illness
— Tod Ensign
Depleted Uranium: Scandal Update
— Tod Ensign
U.S. Bombing: Murder as Usual
— Voices in the Wilderness
Sherrie Tucker's "Swing Shift"
— Connie Crothers
Ann Menasche's "Leaving the Life"
— Karin Baker
- In Memoriam
In Memoriam: Daniel Singer
— Michael Löwy
IN JANUARY, 1999 the Senegalese parliament joined several other African nations imposing a ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). At the time of the ban over 700,000 women — approximately twenty percent of the female population — were estimated to have undergone some form of FGM in Senegal.
In most cases FGM was performed in early adolescence. Throughout Africa it is estimated that between 100-130 million women have suffered under this practice.
In Senegal popular support for the ban developed after several years of education and grassroots mobilizing by local NGOs (including Amsatou’s own work discussed in the interview).
What is interesting about most accounts is the fact that these educational initiatives were broadly focused, aimed at promoting literacy and engaging women more fully in the economy.
These are both laudable goals since nearly three quarters of Senegal’s female population is illiterate and more than half economically active. But the subject of FGM became unavoidable as topics like infection, stillbirth and death during childbirth continually arose in group discussions.
A breakthrough came when several Bambara villages began banning the practice in 1998 (Bambara are an ethnic minority among whom the practice is more widespread than the dominant Wolof). In all, more than fifteen villages had banned the practice before the national government imposed the countrywide prohibition.
Despite the success in winning the ban on FGM, experts are now concerned with its enforcement. They point to Djibouti, which has nominally banned the practice, and where upwards of eighty percent of women continue to be subjected to FGM.
ATC 91, March-April 2001