Thursday, April 26, 2012


Dear Minister for Swedish Culture, This letter is written on behalf of everyone who has either died, survived or is advocating an end to the harmful cultural practice of female genital mutilation. Before writing this letter, a honest attempt has been made to unravel the exact events of what actually happened and why at the Moderna Museet concerning the Swedish Artists organisation cultural event that took place within this last week. In the research undertaken for the writing of this letter, it is of the understanding that you are a supposed supporter of anti-FGM campaigns and that Sweden takes a serious stance against this extreme gender –based violence. This subject based on long cultural traditions but is widely recognised as being very harmful and causing deaths to many girls and women. In fact, to date, it is not completely known how many women and girls have actually died, given that deaths are under reported and in rural Africa true figures are not known. What we do know is that injury and complications are serious and a life-time of health complications results. Facts that you should be well aware of given your interest in the subject. So, it is with astonishment that you took part in this dreadful and de-based spectacle. In your defence, journalists have argued that you walked into something in which you were unaware the full ramifications of. That once in the room, you had to go along with it. This is no defence. You must have known how much insult you would cause and what a media disaster this would be for you and the party you represent. You should have known exactly what you were attending and what you would be expected to do. There is no reason that can be seen as to how this was ever going to ever help the anti-FGM cause and make a point of its abhorrence. It was a theatrical spectacle where the whole issue was made into a joke, something to be laughed at. This may very well had been the last thing you wanted but this is the result. And the result is mortifying to those directly affected. Therefore, this letter is asking for a full public apology not only from yourself but from the artist Makode Linde for the extremely misguided actions and the subsequent hurt and potential humiliation you have caused to its victims. We do hope you have the comparison, the moral fibre and the dignity to reply, Yours sincerely, Ambassador Lucy Mashua Assisting and advocating for U.S. refugees and women’s rightsGlobal Ambassador for Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)Leading the Worldwide Campaign Against FGMLobbying for HR 2221:The Girl's Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley and Rep. Mary Bono Mack. and S 1919 introduced by Senator Harry Reid, AND Helen Marshall, Norfolk UK. Activist against FGM and supporter of the African NGO Tareto Maa, Kilgoris, Kenya, refuge for girls fleeing FGM and early enforced marriage.