Senior plans awareness forum on women’s issues

by Brandon Newell

With the arrival of Women’s History Month, senior Angie Albee is sponsoring a forum event of her own to allow Simpson students to reflect on the issues behind Women’s History Month and female genital mutilation.

“My goal is to bring the Simpson Community to an understanding and inform them on the subject of FGM,” said Albee. “Hopefully this will break down stereotypes people have about the subject.”

Professor Sal Meyers invited Albee to speak on the subject given her educational background in women’s studies and her interest in becoming an activist on the subject. The forum will serve as her senior project.

“I personally invited her to be a forum speaker because the theme of Women’s History Month this year is ‘Women Acting Out: Socially, Internationally, and Personally.’ All of the events relate to things people can do to make a difference by doing something by getting involved and by being an activist,” said Meyers.

Meyers said this opportunity will serve as preparation for her future plans.

“Angie’s goal is to go to Africa and work with women by enlightening them about the subject of FGM. This forum event is a great tool in her preparation to become an activist,” said Meyers.

Albee sees her coming forum event as one that is of great importance to students and residents of the state of Iowa and members of the world community.

“I think that we as an educated community have a need to respond because we are all connected on the issue so we can respect other cultures and traditions,” said Albee.

Even in recent weeks, the Iowa Legislature has been debating the subject of FGM.

“The Iowa Senate, as recent as last Tuesday, considers FGM a felony,” Albee said. “They passed a legislative bill that states that FMG is a class C felony with charges of 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The Iowa House’s decision to accept the bill is still pending.”

The state of Iowa has gained awareness on the importance of FGM through the help of non-governmental groups that have been lobbying since the 1970’s on the issue and because of statistics from the Center of Disease Control.

The CDC reported in 1990 that 168,000 U.S women have dealt with the practice of or been at risk of FGM. The CDC also stated that over 2 million girls worldwide and 6,000 girls every day are at risk.

“Not only are we as Americans now faced with the complex and controversial issue of FGM, but it is an on going struggle with women worldwide,” said Albee.

Albee and Meyers both see the forum as a chance to build awareness on the issue and encourage students to take action and become activists as well.

“As a young activist, students will be able to identify with her and hopefully inspire others students to become active or involved in some way,” said Meyers.

“Hopefully people coming to my forum event will be able to walk away looking at the larger spectrum of FGM in areas that they may not have thought about like politically, economically, and socially. Then they can enhance their own opinions on the subject,” said Albee.