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2006.11.16
Once Ouraye used the tools of her trade with the detachment of a surgeon : Soundbite: (Wolof) Ouraye Sall, former excisor: “I would normally cut off the sides so I would not hurt the girls and this half could cut three girls. “ Now she uses her blade as a campaign tool : Soundbite: (Wolof) Ouraye Sall, “I was just doing it automatically. And suddenly I learnt that we don’t have to be doing this . . . so then I started feeling such pity for all the girls that I cut." A quiet revolution in Senegal, against the practice of female genital mutilation or cutting, has been unfolding here. Lining up from 70 villages in Matam northern region, the great and the small, pledge to abandon a practice that’s more than 2 000 years old. It was learning about (posters) women’s health and human rights, through a UNICEF-supported NGO called Tostan, that made the breakthrough. Already a third have said no to the practice of cutting. And it’s starting to catch on in neighbouring countries. The women say it’s like freedom day. The men have given it their blessing too. Soundbite: (wolof) Samba Demba Sall, village leader: “This liberty doesn’t mean that we are confronting them it doesn’t what it means is they asked for something and they didn’t get it and now they’ve got it and it means freedom for them” Some come from far away where there’s still resistance. Dieynaba’s worried that her three year old daughter could be cut even while she’s away. Soundbite: (wolof) Dieynaba Sarr, mother: “I feel so weak about this. . . For this baby no, no way. I know that nobody will cut her. But the other one is brought up by her grandmother so I can’t say for sure." There’s a way to go still to end the practice, but Senegal is being seen as the beginning of the end of a harmful heritage. This is Sarah Crowe for Unicef in Matam, Senegal For Every Child Advance Humanity *** Asset Name : UNICEF: Senegal declaration against female genital mutilation Asset Duration: 02 min 04 secs Shoot City: Matam Shoot Country: Senegal Shoot Date: Nov 14 2005
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