Author: Kara Brown

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Ignore the Voices That Say You Can’t. We Can.

I was six years old and in Primary 2 when Hillary Clinton gave her famous speech on women’s rights being human rights in Beijing in 1995. Almost 10 years later, I moved to rural China. I lived with an Eritrean girl from London, whose Dad worked for the United Nations in the Middle East. It was in China I became passionate about human rights. I was blown away by the strength of the Chinese women I met, the stories of women and conflict in Africa and challenges diaspora women and girls face in the United Kingdom. I wish I had known about the Beijing conference; I wish I had been taught about feminism and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at school. I came home to study and learn more about human rights. I dreamed of a career that would take me to the UN one day. In 2011 I graduated feeling a little defeated after struggling with stress, failing a UN Law class and being told by my Professor that I had no …

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Meet the Girls Ending FGM

Girls are perfect, just as they are. Yet over 125 million girls and women bear scars that suggest the contrary. Every minute five girls are held down and subjected to excruciating pain. Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting (FGC), is the harmful practice of partially or totally removing a girl’s genitals. Girls who are cut face emotional trauma and long lasting health complications. It is a strange paradox that many celebrate ‘cutting season’ with big parties and lavish gifts. FGM is the norm for a large majority of the developing world. Thanks to a new wave of media attention and two daring young women, I now understand more about FGM. This understanding began with Leyla Hussein’s BAFTA nominated film The Cruel Cut. From impassioned women’s rights activist and mother Leyla, I learned that FGM is happening right on my doorstep. An estimated 23,000 British girls are at risk of being cut. FGM is more prevalent than current figures suggest, due to immigration and the hidden nature of this crime. As global efforts to end FGM …