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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Giving Amirah a voice

Mother works to stop female genital mutilation

Fortunate Adem is glad that Amirah’s Voice is getting national attention, though she remains sad that there is a need for the ministry in the first place.

Fortunate Adem strives to create awareness
Fortunate Adem strives to create awareness of forced female circumcision, a practice in some countries that continues in the U.S.
A member of Rock of Ages Lutheran Church, Stone Mountain, Ga., she entered the national spotlight after her ex-husband was put on trial in 2006 for the female genital mutilation of their daughter, Amirah, as a 2-year-old in 2001.

Khalid Adem, who was born in Ethiopia where female genital mutilation is widely practiced, was found guilty of aggravated battery and cruelty to children and sentenced to 10 years.

At the time of the assault there was no law in Georgia or several other states against the practice of forced female circumcision, though a federal law banning it was passed in 1997. Fortunate Adem worked with state lawmakers, and in 2005 the law was passed. But that was only a small part of her plan.

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