About a year ago, I had the opportunity to view the film “Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter’, and I was immediately struck by how well it reflects the struggles of Tahirih’s clients. This heart-wrenching documentary chronicles the story of Mrs. Goundo, an undocumented Malian woman living in the United States, as she petitions for asylum in order to remain in the country with her infant daughter Djenebou.
Mrs. Goundo knows that if she returned to Mali with Djenebou her daughter will be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), but is determined to keep her child from the dangerous, painful, and life-threatening procedure.
I am so pleased to share with you that “Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter’ will be aired in the United States by PBS World in February 2011. The film skillfully weaves the personal story of Mrs. Goundo and her fight for justice against the backdrop of the larger debate among Africans of all backgrounds about the place of FGM in their cultures and their lives.
This powerful account of a mother’s struggle to protect her family echoes the stories of many of Tahirih’s clients. Often the women who come to us have stories of their struggles against the dominating place of FGM in their home countries. Many are seeking justice and protection for their families as well as themselves. For anyone who would better understand the journeys of Tahirih’s clients, of women like them, and of women wrestling with the cultural tradition of FGM, “Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter” is not a film to be missed.
Tahirih Founder and Executive Director