Citizenship award 2007: Khady Koita - Foundation P&V
Citizenship award 2007: Khady Koita
The jury of the P&V Foundation's Citizenship Award lauds Khady Koita for breaking the silence around female genital mutilation and trying to convince men and women around the world to break with this degrading tradition of women. Prof Dr Marleen Temmerman: "To her credit, she is very respectful of her own culture in doing so. For Khady Koita, female genital mutilation is first and foremost a gross violation of human rights. She is not fighting against her culture, but against deliberate mutilation and oppression, regardless of the culture in which they occur."
Khady Koita was born on 18 October 1959 in Senegal. At the age of 13, she was married off to a cousin who lived in France. She lived with him in Paris for 16 years. Because she was exploited, humiliated and abused by him, she decided to divorce him.
Khady Koita co-founded GAMS, a group fighting against genital mutilation and for women's rights. Since 2000, she has chaired Euronet FGM, the European network for the prevention and abolition of female genital mutilation. She wrote the book "Mutilée", published in 2006 in Dutch as "Verminkt", is a member of Respect-ev and co-founder and chairwoman of La Palabre. This non-profit organisation aims to set up reception and training centres for girls facing sexual mutilation and other forms of violence. Khady Koita is a mother of four daughters and a son. She has lived in Belgium since 1996.
31 December 2007