On Monday, March 18th, MALA hosted a panel in parallel with the 63rd annual meeting of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  The panel, titled, “Addressing FGM in the USA: Safeguarding Survivors and Potential Victims,” brought together five experts from various fields who do work or activism relating to Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting.  Our panelists included: Dr. Asad Zaman, M.D. of the ZMedi Group, Mariya Taher, Co-Founder of Sahiyo, Zehra Patwa, Co-Founder of WeSpeakOut, Adrea G. Bottner, J.D., Senior Advisor to the Independent Women’s Forum, and Mary Franson of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Our Panel of experts addressed the reality of FGM/C in the United States via medical, psychological, and legislative perspectives and offered an array of approaches to organizing, educating, and mobilizing our communities to support survivors and work towards Zero Tolerance in the U.S.    

The event was at full capacity, with guests packed out into the hallway.  We are thrilled and honored to have had the opportunity to involve so many passionate and motivated individuals in this important conversation that emphasizes the need for bi-partisan efforts to safeguard and protect American women from FGM/C.

MALA stands firmly against FGM/C, and any other practice that harms women and girls, and our work is only beginning.  We believe that by working with dynamic coalitions of experts from diverse fields, like those represented on our panel, we can continue to develop the resources, support, and leadership that are needed to end the violent practice of FGM/C, once and for all.   

Click HERE to view the full album of the event.


Panelists Mary Franson, Mariya Taher, and Andrew Bottner look on as panelist Zehra Patwa responds to a question.

Left to Right: Ahmed Flex Omar (Deputy Director, MALA), Zainab Khan (Executive Director, MALA), Mary Franson (Rep., MN House of Representatives), Mariya Taher (Co-founder, Sahiyo), Andrea Bottner (Senior Advisor, Independent Women’s Forum), Asad Zaman (Co-founder, ZMedi Group), Zehra Patwa (WeSpeakOut)

MALA Fellow, Amal Amaskane offers welcoming remarks.
Guests pour out into the hallway.


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