Hanna Stern '18 hosted a forum on female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) at the Southworth Library at Thayer Academy last evening. The forum included a short documentary screening, testimony from a survivor, and a discussion panel to talk about the health effects, the laws, and advocacy to stop FGM. Guest speakers included Mariya Taher, a social activist and founder of SAHIYO, an advocacy group that works to end FGM; Susan McLucas, a human rights advocate; and Melody Eckhart, MD, MPH, an ob/gyn and advisor to Maternal Health Projects.
"Performing an FGM procedure on a minor is a federal crime in the US but only 26 states have laws against it, and Massachusetts isn't one of them!" says Hanna. "Due to the taboo subject matter, this issue is not well known. I wanted to bring awareness, advocate for change and educate people about FGM."
The event was part of Hanna's Global Scholars capstone project. Thayer Academy's Global Scholars Program encourages greater awareness of and engagement in global issues by combining academic learning with real-world international and multicultural experiences. Participation in a variety of curricular and extracurricular activities deepen students' commitment to "contribute to the common good," and weave global citizenship more prominently into the fabric of the Thayer community. Students who successfully complete all of the program requirements are recognized as Thayer Academy Global Scholars at graduation.
L to R: Aidan Rooney, Thayer Foreign Language and Global Scholars faculty, Hanna Stern '18, Mariya Taher, Melody Eckhart, MD, and Susan McLucas