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Reporting on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – US Factsheet

This factsheet is a quick guide for communications and media professionals who are looking to cover female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States. Here you will find an outline of how to report on FGM in a gender-sensitive, accurate, and constructive manner.

FGM is internationally recognized as a human rights violation, a form of violence against women and girls, and a manifestation of gender inequality and discrimination.

In the US, FGM is prohibited at the federal level, but more needs to be done to ensure that at-risk communities have effective legal protections at the state level, where they need them most. 

The role of the media is, therefore, pivotal in increasing public understanding of social issues, shaping public discourse, and influencing policy-makers’ decisions. As such, media professionals – including journalists, documentarians, freelancers, bloggers, and editors – all have a significant part to play in helping end FGM by uplifting survivor voices through a respectful and ethical framing of FGM as a human rights and child abuse issue that needs to be addressed.

This US-focused factsheet was developed in partnership with Equality Now and Sahiyo to support media professionals in their efforts to cover FGM in the US effectively.