An international coalition of women’s rights activists hosted a high-profile Speakers’ Forum and News Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about barbaric abuse of women and child brides under sharia law and to express their unwavering support for President Donald Trump, who champions their cause.
Elizabeth Yore noted that more than 513,000 women and girls across America are at risk for FGM, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Yore also said FGM is recognized by both the World Health Organization and the United Nations as a human rights violation perpetrated upon little girls and women. Over 200 million women worldwide have been subjected to this cruel and barbaric practice.
“We are bringing women from all across the country and all over the world to raise our unified voices in support of President Donald Trump,” said Rabia Kazan, best-selling author, journalist and women’s rights activist against child marriage and president of the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition. “President Obama created ISIS and encouraged sharia law throughout the Middle East, and for eight years he turned a deaf ear to our cries. Finally, there is hope for us because of President Trump. He is changing the game. He is the only one fighting for us and for our human rights.”
23 year old activist Kelly Long brought a youthful, Christian angle to the question of women’s rights in the Middle East
The Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition wants to reform the barbaric practices of child marriages, genital mutilations, honor killings and dress code restrictions by initiating a cultural and religious revolution throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. They believe that only President Trump has both the will and the international stature to do that.
Magda Odendaal, Ph.D. of South Africa, a psychologist and activist against female genital mutilation brought a unique perspective to the event
The Press Club gathering featured female anti-abuse crusaders from America as well as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Libya and Kurdistan—all countries that allow or endorse sharia law. The stellar panel of prominent women speakers, many of whom at one time risked their lives to escape from oppressive conditions in their own native countries, included:
- Elizabeth Yore: Internationally renowned attorney and activist specializing in human rights and child welfare advocacy and head of the national EndFGMToday campaign
- Ola Hawatmeh (Lebanese-American): Women’s rights activist against arranged marriages, fashion designer, founder of Ola Style and vice president of the MEWC
- Adele Nazarian (Iranian-American): Writer, filmmaker, Middle East expert and human rights advocate
- Arian Lev (Israeli): Human rights activist and best-selling author
- Nahren Anweya (Assyrian-American): Activist for persecuted Christians
- Marilyn Matrisciana (American): Ordained Christian minister who spent 35 years in Middle Eastern countries and co-founder of Servant Group International
- Chiman Zebari (Kurdish-American): Author and activist against honor killings
- Uzma Hayat (Pakistani-American): Activist, writer and Middle Eastern expert
- Magda Odendaal, Ph.D. (African activist): Psychologist and activist against female genital mutilation
- Mina Attaran (Iranian-American): Women’s rights activist and Middle Eastern expert
- Soat Tebrizi, Ph.D. (Persian-American): Women’s rights activist and psychotherapist
- Eva Hasqueal (Iraqi-American): Human rights activist and Middle East expert
Sonya Elizabeth (Libyan-American): Women’s rights activist
“These courageous women will be telling their own personal stories,” said Kazan before the event. “Their stories are real, gripping and painful, as each one has experienced horrific abuse in some way, either in their own personal lives or in what they saw happen to their loved ones. Each one will share her testimony about women and little girls who have been subjected to forced child marriages, genital mutilation, honor killings and horrific abuse, perhaps even by fathers and brothers. You will leave better understanding the dilemma of women hopelessly trapped in the slavery and degradation that exists under sharia law, and why this has to change.”
View an EndFGMToday.com state-by-state map of those who do have anti-FGM laws and learn more about FGM at www.EndFGMToday.com or on social media at #EndFGMToday.