When we change the culture of violence against women into an attitude of respect and appreciation, we enable them to unleash their potential as leaders of a new future.
I have been deeply moved by two men I know, both of whom believe in women, hate the violence perpetrated against them and are doing something about it. One is a respected Silicon Valley investor, and the other is a village chief in Senegal.
Whether you call it mutilation or circumcision, this crime has no place in any corner of our world. And what people call it is not just merely an exercise in rhetoric.
Of the different terms used in the West, at least "female circumcision" should be abandoned. At best, it is inaccurate. At worst, it inches the practice into the realm of the medicalized or sanitary, obscuring aspects that still undermine girls' and women's human rights.
Now, there are many reasons why I'm a failed Jew. But aside from the comedy value of those things, my main objection is the practice of the mutilation of young boys on a globally accepted level.
FGM is most common in Muslim communities but also occurs in Christian and traditional religious settings. Yet the Bible and the Quran do not call for FGC and theologians discount any religious obligation.
"Most of these women have been circumcised, have been raped, been beaten, have been abused. They have not been raised to embrace their sexuality and their feminine power, so the fact that they can gather and celebrate that is amazing."
Is misogyny prevalent and gaining traction in the Muslim world and why did most women vote for Islamists in Middle East elections?
Thursday was International Women's Day, and like always, there was some guy saying, "Why isn't there an International Men's Day? Yuk, yuk." And while the usual response is, "Every day is a men's day, you asshole," maybe it's time to agree.
It is clear that femail genital cutting is a social norm in Indonesia as much as in parts of West Africa, where social change programs have enabled communities to abandon the practice. But what is different is the lack of awareness that FGC is an issue.
Desert Flowerschronicles the story of a young Somali girl who made the journey from the harsh conditions as a desert nomad to unexpected success as a fashion model and activist.
My pledge to my daughter, and to all the other daughters in this world is this: You will see me grow old. You will see my hair turn grey.
Does that mean that most of the spirited young woman demonstrators and bloggers we have seen on TV have lost control over their bodies? Or do they belong to the lucky 10 percent?
In many Muslim societies, Islamic law deems women inferior to men. A woman's testimony is worth half that of a man, and her independence is restricted by seclusion in the home, laws of guardianship by male kin, polygamy and unilateral divorce.
Some American doctors are recommending that maybe just a little clitoral cutting in pediatricians' offices across America should be acceptable as a way to keep more extreme forms of FMG from happening.
The best way to prevent HIV and other STIs -- whether you're circumcised, uncircumcised, gay, straight, male or female -- is through education and condom use.