Women Against FGM: The Making of Clit Rock

Female Genital Mutilation is the deliberate mutilation of female genitalia, often by part or complete removal or cutting of the labia and clitoris. The World Health Organization describes FGM as any procedure that injures the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Data on the age at which FGM is performed are helpful in understanding when girls are most at risk of being cut. According to UNICEF, the ages at which large proportions of girls experience FGM vary substantially across countries in which it is practised. At least 80 per cent of cut girls in Somalia, Egypt, Chad and the Central African Republic had the procedure performed when they were between the ages of 5 and 14, while in countries including Nigeria, Mali, Eritrea, Ghana and Mauritania, more than 80 per cent of cut girls experienced FGM before their fifth birthday. There is a wealth of information available on this terrifying practice, and organisations like Daughters of Eve, founded by Nimko Ali and Leyla Hussein, work to educate the masses on this harmful practice and provide support for survivors of FGM. One woman doing her small part to bring more attention to the issue and raise funds to make sure that those working to end the practice have the funds they need is the musician and post-punk rock chick Dana Jade. In this lively piece, she explains why she felt the need to start a music festival to raise awareness about the issue, showcase female talent, and put the ‘fun’ back into fundraising.
I created Clit Rock out of sheer rage.
For me female genital mutilation (FGM) culminates all the misogyny in the world into a single act. It speaks volumes about the fear of women and female sexuality in patriarchal societies. It is oppression on steroids.
End FGM
Like so many things these days Clit Rock was started online, by a post on Facebook. I remember sharing yet another story on FGM and most people either chose to ignore it or confessed they were not even aware of this practice. I said “why doesn’t someone do something to raise awareness about this like a music event? They could call it Clit Rock!”
One of my friends said “You should do it” and behold Clit Rock was born.
I am constantly amazed by the people who choose to ignore though. What is this response about? What exactly does it mean? My social media feed is constantly inundated with highlighting the plight of animals and that’s great but what about your fellow humans? Why do so many people skip over issues that affect literally millions of women and girls and go straight to saving the chickens? Honest question.
If you have any idea please let a sister know?
I digress. I didn’t know exactly where Clit Rock would lead me, I just knew I wanted to help raise awareness and funds for anyone already fighting on the front lines of this cause. I found Daughters Of Eve online and I have learned a lot from its inspiring founders Nimko Ali and Leyla Hussein from the start and I am honoured to call them friends. I never attempt to speak for survivors of FGM; I aim only to support in any way I can.
In addition to raising awareness for the ongoing campaign to end FGM Clit Rock is a celebration of women who rock! We host bands, artists, DJs with fire in their belly. We dance until they turn the lights on and kick us out (if you came to the last one you can attest to that). It is about being made aware of the work that needs to be done and revelling in how far we’ve come.
I cannot tell you how many people have said to me that they are hesitant about coming to a Clit Rock event because of the seriousness of the cause or because they might be uncomfortable. Sigh… Let me take this opportunity to assure you that we do not get together every few months and sit around and cry for 5 hours! We put the FUN in fundraising after all. Leyla, for example, refuses to be labeled a victim. She instead demands that she be referred to as a survivor and she not only survives but thrives!
Leyla hussein Nimko Ali daughters of eve
I’m pleased to say that Clit Rock attracts a wonderfully diverse group of individuals and provides a safe space for creatives, political activists, feminists, queer and not so queer people and their friends. It has become a sort of unofficial home for alternative women of colour and I’m really proud of that. As a solo artist within the genre of alternative and punk I want to put other women like myself forward, to build a community and elevate the visibility of WoC in rock. We are woefully underrepresented in music worldwide. Our current line up of bands and DJs is a perfect example of our vision for diversity within music and intersectional feminism.
There’s a lot of talk about diversity that’s only just beginning out there but for us it is not just a buzzword and we actually prefer to do, rather than just talk. Like I always say: Start the revolution already!
According to the World Health Organization more than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut.
You may want to read that again.
The NHS estimates that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) here in the UK each year. So what can be done? There are many campaigns and organisations that you may choose to get involved with, donate to, sign petitions and or share information.
The following links will answer any questions you might have on this topic:
With these events we seek to educate, and uplift because we know this is a fight that can be won.
If you do not feel great after a night at Clit Rock, you can have your money back! Well, not really, (it’s for charity man) but you know what I mean.
To quote Daughters Of Eve, “If you save one girl, you save a generation.”
If you want to help us save countless generations of women and girls, join us and be part of our movement.
Clit Rock 5 will take place THIS Friday October 17th 2014 at Underbelly in Hoxton.
Bands, DJs, Artists, Speakers, Visionaries will come together to put on a great show.
cr5poster2
Don’t forget your dancing shoes… oh yes there will be dancing at this revolution!
See you there…
#EndFM
Clit Rock will take place THIS Friday 17th October 2014 at Underbelly, Hoxton.
Tickets are £5 and can be purchased here.

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