Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (CNN) Seleiman Bishagazi never enjoyed the benefits of a university education, but he’s smarter on a basic human rights issue than nearly anyone I’ve met in the world.
This activist showed me what ground-level investigation, hard-core determination and a lot of community conversation taught him about the practice of female genital mutilation: Follow the money.
Female genital mutilation is not an issue I ever thought about in economic terms. In pieces I wrote over the years about this practice of using (often unsterile) knives to remove in part or in total a girl’s external genitalia, people would talk with me about it as a cultural practice — one that girls and women in communities had begun to stand up to, but one that activists fighting the practice said only changed generationally.
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