Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC (October 12, 2017)The Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University, together with the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation and RAHMA, will hold an event October 19 to cast a spotlight on the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the United States, where over half a million girls and women are at risk or have undergone the practice.  The D.C. metropolitan area alone has the second highest concentration of women and girls affected by FGM/C in the country, estimated at over 50,000.  The event will feature a panel of leading experts on this cultural practice, in which the female external genitalia are cut or removed (partial or total removal) for non-medical reasons. The practice is common in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, but also affects girls and women living in the United States. FGM/C is banned in the United States and the World Health Organization considers all forms of cutting a human rights violation.

Join us on October 19 to learn what can be done to prevent FGM/C and provide care for women who have undergone it. Speakers include a representative from the Office of Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), medical experts on the procedure of reconstructive surgery for survivors, attorneys who will discuss domestic and international laws that make FGM/C a crime, as well as an author and activist who has undergone FGM/C.

The panel will be moderated by Angela Peabody of the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, Khadijah Abdullah at RAHMA, and Karen McDonnell, an associate professor of prevention and community health at Milken Institute SPH and the Principal Investigator of an HHS-funded project that aims to create a toolkit to educate health professionals and community members in the United States about FGM/C.

EVENT: Understanding FGM/C in the US: Hope, Care, and Prevention

WHEN: October 19, 20176:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Milken Institute School of Public Health

Room B100-A

950 New Hampshire Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C.  20052

MEDIA: The event is free but media must register and contact Kathy Fackelmann at 202-994-8354 or [email protected] in order to attend.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University: Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,900 students from 54 U.S. states and territories and more than 50 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, [email protected], an online Executive Master of Health Administration, [email protected], and an online Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics, [email protected]GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.