American University: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: How One Woman Turned Her Pain into Advocacy




Event Description:  A survivor of female genital mutilation (FGM), child sexual assault, and rape, F.A. Cole turned her past pain into fuel for her advocacy to protect women and girls from violence. She focuses on empowering survivors and provides needed tools (financial, emotional, and educational) to help them overcome their ordeal via her various platforms.

The event began by viewing a short video called “The Truth of Female Genital Mutilation.” Ms. F. A. Cole bravely shared her story detailing her life growing up, undergoing FGM and how we all play a part in ending gender-based violence. We ended the event by telling everyone to contact their Senators and urge them to pass the Stop FGM Act of 2020 and to include FGM in the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Many attendees were moved to reach out to F.A. personally and thank her for sharing her story and shedding light on this human rights abuse. The students left with actionable steps they can take to protect women and girls from FGM in the U.S.

Overall, the event was a huge success. I received so much support and interest from the audience. As well, some of the guests had even messaged Ms. F.A. Cole, thanking her for sharing her story. Throughout the event, I felt a wide range of emotions as Ms. F.A. Cole explained her experience. It was one of sadness, but as well hope that the future will advocate for women in all different topics. Furthermore, I will be continuing to research Female Genital Mutilation, and will continue advocating for women’s rights.