Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Letter we send to the Swedish culture minister, since there has not been formal or informal apology to FGM survivors and activists working day and night to end FGM by the way which is not a laughing matter.

We send by post and emailed this well put and respectful letter even though we are angry. all we ask for is an apology. the letter reads as follows.
14/05/2012. Dear Minister for Culture and Sports, 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, an 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 recently. 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 cultural practice is based on historical traditions, but today it is widely recognised as being very harmful and causing deaths amongst girls and women. In fact, to date, it is not completely known how many women and girls have actually died, given that the number of 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 from this practice. These facts you will be well acquainted with, 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 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 have been the last thing you wanted, but this is the result. And the result is upsetting to those directly affected. Therefore, this letter is asking for a full public apology not only from you but from the artist Makode Linde for the extremely misguided actions and the subsequent hurt and humiliation you have caused to its victims. We do hope you have the compassion, the moral fibre and the dignity to respond in a positive way to this request. To date, we know of no written or verbal apology. Thank you for your attention in this matter. Yours sincerely, FGM survivor FGM survivor Lucy. S. Mashua. President of Mashua Voice for the Voiceless, International.Assisting and advocating for U.S. refugees and women’s rights.Global Ambassador for Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Leading in lobbying for HR 2221: The Girl's Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley and Rep. Mary Bono Mack. http://twitter.com/Mashua http://mashuavoiceforthevoiceless.blogspot.com/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415 Contact: HYPERLINK "mailto:Mashuavoiceforthevoiceless@gmail.com" Mashuavoiceforthevoiceless@gmail.com Helen Marshall, Norfolk UK. Activist against FGM. Supporter of the African NGO Tareto Maa, Kilgoris, Kenya, refuge for girls fleeing FGM and early enforced marriage Contact HYPERLINK "mailto:leilaexpressions@gmail.com" leilaexpressions@gmail.com (This letter is a follow up from an e-mail sent by Lucy. S. Mashua and we hope you have received and read one of these communications. Thank you.)