Theme Statement

It is an understood global reality that women and girls are facing the harshest impacts of climate change. Activists across the world have fought for the inclusion of women and girls in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Yet, too little is being done to address the multitude of ways in which climate change disproportionately impacts women and girls. One of the often overlooked impacts of climate change is its impact on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Defined by the WHO as any procedure that involves the removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, FGM/C is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. For many girls across the globe, climate change has only served to make them more vulnerable to this form of harm.

This event will explore the impact of climate change on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and hear from the activists themselves who are working to uplift girls in their communities about what can be done.

About the Event:

WHAT: An Emergency Within an Emergency: The Crises of Climate Change and Female Genital Cutting

DATE: Friday, September 16, 2022

TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. EST, Eastern Daylight Savings time (EDT) (e.g. New York, USA)

FORMAT: Online, Zoom

Watch the Recording of the Event below


Mariya Taher

 Co-Founder and US Executive Director of Sahiyo

Mariya Taher has worked in gender-based violence for over a decade in the areas of teaching, research, policy, program development, and direct service. In 2018, Mariya received the Human Rights Storytellers Award from the Muslim American Leadership Alliance. In 2020, she was recognized as one of the six inaugural grant recipients for the Crave Foundation for Women. Since 2015, she has collaborated with the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association to pass legislation to protect girls from FGC. After starting a petition and gathering over 400,000 signatures, Massachusetts became the 39th state in the U.S. to do so. She also sits on the steering committee for the US End FGM/C Network. As of 2021, Mariya serves as an expert consultant for the Department Of Justice Addressing Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting technical assistance project.



Neha Wadekar

Independent Multimedia Journalist

Neha Wadekar is an independent multimedia journalist reporting across the globe. She reports at the intersections of climate, gender, conflict, health, human rights, emerging democracies, and politics. Neha’s written and video work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, PBS NewsHour, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Mother Jones, CNN, and others. She has received fellowships from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the United Nations Foundation, the Fuller Project, the Overseas Press Club, the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the Groundtruth Project.


Eva Komba

Gender, Governance, and Social Development Specialist

Eva Komba is an experienced development professional in the area of international gender and development expert with 10 years of experience. She has major competencies in matters of Public Policy Formulation and Research, Access to gender justice, Sex and Gender Based Violence Programming and Implementation, Ending Harmful Traditional Practises and Combating Trafficking of Women and Girls in Africa. She is also skilled in the area of Monitoring and Evaluation, Gender Responsive Budgeting, Gender Mainstreaming as well as Women Empowerment.

Domtila Chesang

Founder and the Director of I_Rep Foundation

Domtila Chesang is a champion fighting to end FGM, child marriage and other harmful cultural practices. She has been advocating for girls and women’s rights since 2014 through various initiatives. As a full time women’s rights advocate, she founded the I_Rep Foundation, which is a community based organization that she uses as a vehicle to create awareness around these issues and provides platforms at the community levels for learning and dialogue. Because of her fearless campaigns and passion for girls and women’s rights protection and empowerment in her community, she has received a number of recognitions both locally and internationally. In 2017, she was among three Kenyans to receive the prestigious Queens Young Leaders Award presented by the Queen of England in Buckingham Palace. In 2018, she was recognized as the African Youth Leader of the year. She was nominated as the Human Rights Defender of the year in 2019. She is also a founding member of the African Women’s Rights Advocate.