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Our Collective Responsibility To Raise Awareness & Eradicate FGM

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According to the World Health Organization, Female Genital Mutilation (also referred to as Female Circumcision or Cutting) consists of all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. There are 4 types of FGM/C.

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  • Type 1: Clitoridectomy: This involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris or clitoris hood.
  • Type II: Excision: This involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora. (WHO definition)
  • Type III: Infibulation: This involves the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and sewing over the outer labia, with or without removal of the clitoris or inner labia. (WHO definition)
  • Type IV: All other forms of harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. (WHO definition)

FGM/C is practiced mostly due to cultural, religious, and social reasons. Some of the common reasons include:

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    • Preserve chastity – FGM/C is believed to reduce a woman’s sexual desire and therefore is thought to help preserve a woman’s virginity until marriage
    • Maintaining and honoring familial and cultural traditions
    • “Cleanliness” – Some cultures believe that unless a woman is cut, she remains “unclean” and therefore is unfit for marriage
    • Coming into “womanhood”: Some believe that FGM/C is a necessary practice to initiate girls into womanhood
    • Religious beliefs: Some associate FGM/C with religious requirements, although no religious scripture mandates the practice

It is estimated that over 125 million women and girls have undergone FGM/C worldwide and 3 million are at risk every year of undergoing the procedure (Source: UNICEF 2013 Report ). FGM is mostly carried out on young girls, between the ages of infancy and 15. Some cultures perform the procedure right before a woman is to be married. The practice is most common in Africa and the Middle East but there have been several studies that show prevalence of FGM/C in the United States and Europe, mostly amongst immigrated communities from countries where the practice is most common. Most of these girls are taken abroad to have the procedure performed during school breaks.

In most cases, FGM/C is performed by a traditional practitioner using sharp cutting instruments such as razor blades, knives, and/or scissors that are rarely sterilized. In addition, most women and girls undergoing the procedure do so without the use of any anesthesia. As a result, there are many immediate and longterm physical complications associated with the practice. Some of these include:

  • Shock
  • Hemorrhage/excessive bleeding
  • Infections
  • Pain when urinating
  • Severe pain during sexual intercourse and menstruation
  • Increased risk of complications during childbirth; newborn deaths

Not only do women and girls endure extreme physical pain when undergoing FGM/C, but the emotional pain associated with the practice can sometimes last a lifetime unless some powerful, consciously directed healing work is done.

Shame, guilt, and feeling like “less of a woman” are common after-effects that come about for women and girls who have been forced to undergo FGM/C. And with the feelings of shame and guilt comes the need to punish oneself and others, especially those that subjected them to the practice — which, in almost every case, are family members.

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Considering the deep, long-lasting emotional issues that occur, it isn’t difficult from a modern Western perspective to see that the suppression and control of women and girls by attempting to disempower, denigrate, and strip them of their womanhood is what lies at the heart of the practice of FGM.

The fundamental truth that is overlooked, however, is that womanhood isn’t something that is simply held in or reflected by the female anatomy.  

Womanhood is innate.

It reaches far across the inner depths of a Spirit who has shown up here on the earth in a female body. Womanhood is the collective term for sensuality, sexuality, intuition, and deep female wisdom. These are inherent characteristics that the act of female circumcision aims, but many times fails, to eradicate.  

A high percentage of those who have been subjected to FGM, as deeply as they understand and recognise the social, cultural, and religious reasons behind it, often find it difficult to reconcile with their inner knowing that it is actually tantamount to extreme betrayal, as well as physical, emotional, and even spiritual abuse.  

To shine a light on the practice is to consider that it has its basis in a belief system that arises out of a concoction of painful lies such as:

  • The reputation of the family unit within the wider community is everything. It must be protected at all costs — even if unhappiness and invalidation on an individual level lies rampant at its core.  
  • Females are inferior. It is deeply embedded in the psyche of generations upon generations that women cannot be trusted on their own to uphold the honour and reputation of their families and therefore their natural sensibilities and states must be controlled.
  • True empowerment of women and girls is ‘unsafe’ for both men and women in communities which have perpetuated limiting or controlling religious, social, and cultural beliefs for generations.
  • Entire lineages of women in affected communities have been accepting of the practice as being part of their lot in life.  

What is interesting is that despite the perceived ‘acceptance’ of the practice, to drive home the possibility that centuries of women and girls in these communities might have actually been in deep emotional turmoil and pain would be to blow the lid on the power that these beliefs have yielded for so long.  

As wonderful as it would be to open the way for the healing process of female lineages in these communities to begin, self-healing is actually a very personal thing that each individual arrives to in their own time and in their own way.  And this is precisely why education around the topic is so key to being able to empower parents, mothers especially, and inform cultural and religious leaders about the very multi-layered, damaging effects this barbaric practice has on the entire female population of their communities — women and girls in relationship to themselves and their families which lie at the heart of these communities and the wider world.

Community and religious leaders must also be engaged in conversation so that they truly understand that the fate of thousands of women and girls rests in their hands. They need to be shown as leaders that they each possess their own power of choice.  That they can — and indeed ought to — assess the evolution of their communities and how to address its grassroots needs.  They need to be reminded that they do not need to be bound to the limits, fears, and outdated modalities of their successors and that they actually become stronger more respected leaders by having the courage to move with the times.

It simply isn’t possible to have a truly sustainable, healthy, thriving community based on honesty, fairness, authenticity, and love if damaged relationships are rife and the self-image and self-worth of half of the community is compromised.

Education of women = empowerment = personal choice.

Personal choice in this context means for a woman who has been subjected to FGM to:

  1.  Give herself permission to begin her journey of self healing in earnest in order that she can come into her own — the very relationship with herself and her world that her family and community tried to deny her.
  1. Reject the beliefs that underpin the practice and choose differently for her own young girls in order that they can begin not only changing the inheritance of female family lineage, but in so doing, creating the spaciousness and possibilities required in order for present and successive generations of affected women to be able to heal.

Organizations that help fight FGM/C and/or help FGM survivors

  1. a)      Edna Adan University Hospital http://www.ednahospital.org/
  2. b)      Stop FGM Now http://www.stop-fgm-now.com/
  3. c)      Voice of Hope Africa http://voicesofhopeafrica.org/
  4. d)      The Desert Flower Foundation http://retteeinekleinewuestenblume.de/

—————————-

This article has been co-authored by Caroline Diana Bobart and Eman Ahmed. Eman underwent female circumcision as a young girl in Ethiopia. She is passionate about empowering women and girls and helping to eradicate FGM/C by educating women and affected communities about the harmful effects of the practice.

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These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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FBI Confirms Report of “Cylindrical” UFO “Moving Really Fast” Over New Mexico

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The FBI has now confirmed that they are aware of the American Airlines pilot's UFO report. They did not say they are officially investigating the incident any further. The incident remains a mystery.

  • Reflect On:

    The increase in UFO coverage and reporting in mainstream media is raising public awareness about how prominent and well documented the subject is. What does the reality of the UFO phenomenon mean to you? Does it change your worldview?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

On Sunday Feb. 21, 2021 a pilot on American Airlines flight 2292 from Cincinnati to Phoenix reported seeing a long cylindrical object fly very fast over New Mexico, reporting that it looked a lot like a cruise missile. Now, the FBI has confirmed that they are aware of the mysterious report but did not say whether they are investigating any further.

The pilots report, which can be heard here, went like this:

“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us – I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing – moving really fast right over the top of us.”

Steve Douglass, an experienced radio interceptor, was the first to report on the incident and claimed he heard the pilot’s transmission while recording from his multiple scanners.

Initially, American Airlines did not confirm that they had information the incident had happened, but later on, they provided a different story to journalists at The Drive who pressed for more info.

American Airlines initial response:

“At this time, we do not have any indication the radio transmission was from the flight crew on board American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21,” an airline rep told the outlet initially.

American Airlines updated response:

“Following a debrief with our Flight Crew and additional information received, we can confirm this radio transmission was from American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21,”

On Feb. 25th, a FBI spokesperson Frank Connor told Fox News in an email that:

“The FBI is aware of the reported incident, […] While our policy is to neither confirm nor deny investigations, the FBI works continuously with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners to share intelligence and protect the public. Anyone who is aware of suspicious or criminal activity should contact their local law enforcement agency or the FBI,”

The Federal Aviation Administration did release a short statement regarding the incident as well:

A pilot reported seeing an object over New Mexico shortly after noon local time on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes.

Up to this point this incident remains a mystery. It is unclear if further formal investigation is happening behind the scenes, but given what we’ve learned over our years of researching this subject, intelligence agencies tend to take these incidents significantly more seriously than they make the public aware of.

There has been a long term veil of secrecy surrounding the UFO phenomenon and only in recent years has the discussion turned more mainstream. It has been interesting to see further media publications pop up who are now taking this phenomenon a lot more seriously as well. This will continue to push this conversation into the mainstream over the course of time.

While it’s always intriguing to explore these new reports, there is decades of research and credible whistleblower testimony that fill in a great deal of ‘blanks’ when it comes to questions regarding the UFO and ET phenomenon. Indeed we know a lot more than what is being circulated in mainstream media at this time, and the phenomenon delves deeply into the field of consciousness research.

I recently received permission to release my full, raw, interview for the Dr. Steven Greer’s latest film ‘Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind.’ In it I cover my perspectives on discerning mainstream coverage of the UFO subject, the societal and cultural implications of the phenomenon, and what it means for humanity as a whole. You can watch the full interview exclusively on CETV.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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Global Food & Farming Issues: Dr. Vandana Shiva Slams Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Monsanto

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Physicist, environmental activist and renowned author Dr. Vandana Shiva explains modern day global food and farming issues. There are links within the article to her very informative work.

  • Reflect On:

    When organic agriculture has shown to be the best way to feed the world, why do giant corporations insist on taking over and doing things their way? Why do they have so much sway over government policy?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a renowned author, environmental activist, and physicist. Shiva founded Navdanya, an international movement started 30 years ago in India to defend seed and food sovereignty and small farmers around the world.  Navdanya pioneered the movement of seed saving and seed freedom, which began in response to the crisis of erosion of agricultural biodiversity and introduction of GMOs and patents on seeds through intellectual property rights (IPRs) and so-called ‘free trade’ agreements. It has long fought against biopiracy, the patenting of indigenous knowledge by self-interested multinational corporations and won cases related to Neem, basmati rice and wheat in India. Navdanya promotes a new agricultural and economic paradigm, a culture of food for health, where ecological responsibility and economic justice replace the present greed, consumerism and competition which have become dominant in society. It aims at regaining the common good as a foundation for a renewed sense of community, solidarity and culture of peace.

In the last 30 years, Navdanya’s research on Biodiversity based Agro-ecological farming has shown how Agroecology can increase nutrition and health, as well as farmers incomes while rejuvenating soil, water and biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience. They have a membership of more than 650,000 farmer families in 22 states of India. According to Navdanya:

The COVID public health crisis and its resulting economic devastation have accelerated calls to respond through the ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism through embracing the fourth industrial revolution. For food systems, this would mean a ‘food systems transformation’ where all areas of the food supply chain are further centralized, digitized, and mined for data in the false names of ‘public health’ and ‘economic recovery’. This push is now being supported by international organizations and world leaders who stand hand-in-hand with big corporations’ desires for further agrifood system concentration. This translated to a more aggressive push toward false solutions of farms managed through artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms, precision farming, fake foods- such as lab-grown meat, synthetically produced oils, and breastmilk- robot pollinators, biofortification, gene drives for more advanced forms of GMOs, and digital sequencing genetic information (DSI) of agro-diversity.

They recently put out a very informative report titled “Gates to A Global Empire.” Be sure to check it out. I suggest you read a recent article written by Dr. Shiva (her twitter account) titled, “Indian farmers’ 30 year struggle against corporate globalisation and 40 year struggle against the green revolution.” Her books are also a great resource documenting the takeover of seed and the immoral and unethical actions of big corporations, like Monsanto, in India and all over the world.

The clip below is from 2019 but it’s still very informative.

 

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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‘Big Short’ Investor Michael Burry Warns Central Governments Could Squash Bitcoin

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CE Staff Writer 6 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Well known hedge fund Michael Burry feels that Bitcoin could be squashed by the "legally violent, heartless central governments" who won't allow Bitcoin to stay decentralized.

  • Reflect On:

    Our societal structures, like the economy, are certainly in question as many continue to lose faith in them. Is the path towards a better future through cryptocurrency? Could humanity dream up a world without money?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

You might remember the famed hedge fund manager Michael Burry from the film ‘Big Short,’ his character was played by Christian Bale. He is best known for forecasting the 2008 financial crisis, and he made billions from that bet. In a recent tweet, Burry has suggested that governments could “squash” Bitcoin (BTC) in a coming inflationary crisis due to further pandemic stimulus.

Burry also feels that further regulation of the decentralized currency could hamper BTC’s performance in the long term. With one of the main motivations behind cryptocurrency’s like BTC being that they are intended to operate outside of government control and regulation, you can bet that the millions who invest in crypto intend that it stays that way – out of the governments reach.

In a now deleted series of Tweets, Michael Burry stated some intriguing opinions about Bitcoin and potential government interventions:

I don’t hate BTC. However, in my view, the long term future is tenuous for decentralized crypto in a world of legally violent, heartless centralized governments with lifeblood interests in monopolies on currencies. In the short run anything is possible – why I am not short BTC.

Burry claiming he is not ‘short’ on BTC means he is not betting that its price will fall significantly anytime soon.

One of the major reasons Burry feels governments could squash BTC is due to coming inflation as a result of more pandemic stimulus. “In an inflationary crisis, governments will move to squash competitors in the currency arena. $BTC #gold,” he said.  As you can sense by Burry’s words, he feels governments will do anything in their power to maintain control over their own currencies, and protect them at all costs, regardless whether it’s what benefits people most or not.

In his recent string of tweets he discussed Germany’s path to hyperinflation in the 1920s. He currently sees America’s economic trajectory to be similar to the post-World War I climate that eventually led to a 320% monthly inflation rate in the country.

If Burry is right about the upcoming inflation and the governments potential regulatory actions on BTC, this will be the 2nd time in recent years that he predicted a seismic shift in the US economy.

“People say I didn’t warn last time, I did, but no one listened. So I warn this time. And still, no one listens. But I will have proof I warned.” – Burry said in a tweet.

Modern Structures Are Failing

This inevitably brings up the discussion of our current way of life when thinking about our societal design. Does a capitalistic economy really create a world where people can thrive? Does it inspire big business and governments to think about people’s well being first? Or does it motivate them to think of profits first? Perhaps it’s our underlying worldview of competition and separation that causes us to create society in this manner? Either way, history over the last 30 years has shown us that financial crisis’ are happening at a faster rate, each time pushing more and more people into a lower socio-economic class while the few become richer. Aside from available spending money, think of how this affects people’s basic ability to survive and enjoy life.

COVID-19 served to make billionaires even bigger billionaires, while the average person struggles to get a job, feed their family and make basic payments. Is this a world we want to live in? Does this truly feel like what we’re capable of or are we being convinced to accept something because someone said so?

Are we really to support the idea that governments should regulate cryptocurrency, a means of exchange that is outside their control? What’s the motivation behind their regulation? As faith in our institutions crumbles year after year, is the culture within governance feeling their increasing loss of power over the people?

I don’t intend to write a lengthy piece deeply exploring the ins and outs of our economic model and why it’s not serving the people, I’ll save that for another time. I sense that the questions I’ve posed will already bring up thoughts and feelings within you that tend to ‘know’ our current ways aren’t working to help people thrive, perhaps that’s enough.

Where I’m curious to push the envelope a little further is in the question of why do we believe that we need currency and exchange to begin with? Why must our economies work the way we do? Have we really chosen to ask this question? Or have we accepted the limited and dishonest historical belief that “we tried everything else and this is best?”

A radical idea to consider I know, but one I invite you to imagine for just a moment. Given all the the incredible technology we have available to us today, can we really not imagine a society where money is not required? Given the emerging information in post material science that is telling us a different story about the nature of humans, can we honestly say we are simply competitive and warring animals still?

For just a moment, set aside the judgements someone might cast upon you for considering that we could live in a world without money, things like “that’s socialism!” or  “That’s communism!” If you were tasked with the project of coming up with a way to live in our world without money, how might it look? How would we go about creating that type of community?

Aside from what we’re commonly told, human beings are incredible, with extraordinary abilities to connect, build community and solve problems. If we changed the conversation from “that’s never going to be possible” to “how might we actually go about doing this?” that innocent little shift allows us to be open, sense possibility and activate our creativity, even if it means we aren’t going to take action right away.

I’ve been doing this sort of work and asking these questions my whole life – professionally for 13 years – I don’t hold the naive position that all of this can just happen on its own or that we don’t require deep questioning of our current worldview, I recognize all of this is necessary. What I am saying though is, if we don’t begin to think and explore down this path, we can’t ever make things ‘better.’

So what are you choosing to do? Accept the world as it is today? Or are you open to imagining a world where people can truly thrive?

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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