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Sahiyo was founded in 2015 to work toward ending the practice of female genital cutting (also known as female genital mutilation or female circumcision).

This practice has been recognized as a human rights violation by the World Health Organization, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Sahiyo works to enable a culture in which the female body and female sexuality is not feared or suppressed, but embraced as normal, and to recognize and emphasize the values of consent and a child/woman’s right over her own body.

Sahiyo began in early 2015 as a conversation between five women who felt strongly about the ritual of female genital cutting (khatna) in the Bohra community. The group included a social worker, a researcher, two filmmakers and a journalist, and all of them had already been speaking out, in their own ways, against the practice of khatna. 

As their collaboration grew, they realized the need for an organized, informed forum within the community that could help drive a movement to bring an end to khatna, and Sahiyo, the organization, was born. Sahiyo is the Bohra Gujarati word for ‘saheliyo’, or friends, and reflects our organization’s mission to engage in dialogue with the community to find a collective solution towards ending the practice of FGC. Read our expanded history here.

Sahiyo is dedicated to empowering Asian communities to end female genital cutting (FGC) and create positive social change. By working towards an FGC-free world, we aim to recognize and emphasize the values of consent and a child’s/woman’s right over her own body. We aim to enable a culture in which female sexuality is not feared or suppressed but embraced as normal.

The NGO has received international recognition for its community-based approach in addressing FGC through research, public awareness campaigns, their website’s story-sharing platform, and advocacy initiatives. 

Sahiyo gratefully accepts donations.  For every $50 donated, we can support and train another activist in our advocacy efforts to end FGC in our communities. For every $75 donated, we can host an educational webinar to train advocates, educators, healthcare professionals, and other front-line professionals on how to work and provide care for survivors. For every $100 donated, we can support another survivor to attend our digital storytelling workshops where they can share their story and heal in a supportive group setting.

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