• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

June 1, 2002

Girl Power

Share
Special Offer

Emelia

Emelia, 17, is an educator for Girls' Power Initiative.

Mission: To teach Nigerian girls about their bodies and their sexuality.

Soon after turning 15, Emelia Eyo was faced with a frightening Nigerian tradition. As the firstborn female in her family, she had to be circumcised. Emelia had been attending classes at the Girls' Power Initiative, a six-year-old nonprofit organization that teaches girls about their bodies, and had decided to tell her mother she refused to undergo the procedure.

"I knew the health facts, that female genital mutilation could result in all kinds of complications. I said, "Do you want me to go through the same trauma you went through?"

Her arguments were strong enough to convince her mother and father that she should be spared. The experience inspired Emelia to become a peer counselor at the organization that had empowered her. "I wanted to provide girls with enough information so that they, too, could argue their way out of a circumcision."

But that's only one of the ways in which Emelia educates younger girls.

"Nigerian parents don't teach girls anything about their bodies or their sexuality," she says. "Girls here are so frightened when they get pregnant, they drink chemical mixtures to try to abort the baby and wind up killing themselves."

At Girls' Power Initiative, Emelia teaches girls how their reproductive systems work, as well as educating them about contraception and AIDS.

"I give them the knowledge they need to protect themselves," she says.

To find out more about Emelia and the Girls' Power Initiative, click here.


Share
This Is A Developing Story
Connect with Marie Claire:
Advertisement
horoscopes
daily giveaway
Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

enter now
You Know You Want More

more from World News on Women

The 6 Toughest Single Women in Film (PHOTOS)

Don't mess with these strong female leads.

Into Africa

Driven by equal parts passion and ambition, young Americans are taking a career path less traveled to Rwanda, turning life experience into a world of good, almost 20 years after the genocide.

husband with mother and daughter wives
My Mom And I Share The Same Husband

A mother and daughter having sex with the same man may sound hard to believe, but it's a necessity for women in one Bangladeshi tribe. Not that they're thrilled about it.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook
Welcome!

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Continue
Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.

Continue