Ending female circumcision in Colombia
After one year of work, the Embera-Chami announced their first decision regarding FGM: they would abandon it for two years, while they reflected on how to strike a balance between maintaining a practice they considered important to assure the role of women in society and modifying it to avoid more deaths.
Work sessions continued for two years and finally last November the community announced that they would abandon the practice forever. Additionally, they announced that anybody who practices it from now on will be severely punished.
“Our way of thinking is not immovable. We have questioned ourselves as a community and we acknowledge that the practice is bringing death,” said Solany Zapata, one of the Embera-Chami women who actively sought the abandoning of FGM.
“We are capable of deciding and choosing a path that guarantees the respect and protection of our indigenous girls’ lives,” she added.
The ceremony in which they announced their decision to the world ended with the screening of Desert Flower, the film that tells the story of Somali model Waris Dirie, victim of FGM as a child and symbol of the worldwide fight against it.
© Linda Mendoza Ramírez