ECR Group nominates the Restorers for the Sakharov Prize 2019

Five teenage girls from Kenya have founded an app that helps girls affected by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) On the initiative of MEP of Assita Kanko, the ECR Group has decided to nominate The Restorers for the 2019 Sakharov Prize. Two years ago, this group of five Kenyan students developed the i-Cut app: it should allow girls and young women who are at risk of genital mutilation to get help very quickly.

The app provides five different buttons: “help”, “rescue”, “report”, “information on FGM” and “donate and feedback”. They can use these features to seek medical or government assistance in the event of an impending genital mutilation.With their app, these five students also reached the final of the Technovation Challenge in 2017, which is an initiative to attract more women to the technology sector. M

EP Assita Kanko said: “These girls have shown a lot of courage to develop this app. Apart from the help that this can offer, it brings FGM’s gruesome practice into even more attention. A big compliment to them and I hope the app will be used by threatened girls and women all over the world.”

According to the World Health Organization, three million young girls worldwide are at risk each year. Currently, 200 million girls and women worldwide have to live with the terrible consequences of their genital mutilation. This practice remains widespread in Africa, Asia and the Middle East in particular, but thousands of girls are still at risk each year in the EU. In more and more countries, genital mutilation is now also being “medicalized”; medical care providers are being summoned to circumcise girls, legitimizing this horror. Moreover, this creates the impression that genital mutilation would no longer entail health risks, even though this is not true.

Ms Kanko who, as a young girl in her native Burkina Faso, became a victim of genital mutilation, continued: “This app is a very good example of how grassroots initiatives can help girls to take their fate into their own hands, also and especially in communities where this remains far from evident today.”

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