Lively wrote in her post:
â€œFemale genital mutilation is not just a third world issue. 504,000 girls in the U.S. alone are at risk for genital mutilation. Join me, @jahaendfgm and @lorealparisusaÂ in raising our hands to stand up for women globally as we spend ourÂ #wcwÂ this month honoring the women who are changing our world.â€
The number of women and girls in the United States who are at risk of female genital mutilation has more than doubled since 2000 to half a million, according to nonprofit Population Reference Bureau.Â
FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons and comes with a whole slew of risks, including hemorrhage, tetanus, sepsis, cysts and infertility, among other issues.Â
Lively is doing her part to raise awareness about the issue, and help curb the practice, by getting involved with Lâ€™Orealâ€™s â€œWomen of Worthâ€ campaign. The initiative is honoring 10 women who are tackling human rights issues.
Dukureh, who underwent the procedure when she was a child living in Gambia, is one of the honorees and is being recognized for her FGM activism.
Currently living in Atlanta, Dukureh still lives with the practiceâ€™s consequences and is using her experience to take meaningful steps to put a stop to it.Â She got involved in a Change.org petition urging the U.S. to collect data about FGM to more effectively gauge the scope of the issue and how to address it.
Last year, the U.S. government heard her plea and responded.
Cathy Russell, the U.S. ambassador for global womenâ€™s issues, confirmed last summer that theÂ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would conduct a major studyÂ of the prevalence of FGM in America, the Guardian reported.
â€œIâ€™m so excited because this is exactly what we asked for,â€Â she told the Guardian. â€œIt is a great success not just for me but for everyone who has fought for this. But it doesnâ€™t stop here, we are not going away. This is a first step in ending FGM in the States, and where the U.S. leads others might follow.â€
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