In America, the feminist movement has been instrumental in securing fundamental rights for women, including the right to vote, be educated, and live life independently. However, overtime feminism has narrowed its focus to magnifying discrimination where there may be none and scaring young woman into thinking that we are constantly victims of some atrocity or another where government law is the only solution.

Opening our eyes to the plight of woman worldwide, however, reminds us that the fight for women’s rights is bigger than the minute issues American feminists often stew over (such as the number of women in tech companies). First, all issues are women’s issues. Second, too many women worldwide are not blessed with the freedom to go to school, to vote, or to decide what to do with their lives.

Millions of girls mark their transition to womanhood by forcibly being circumcised. The results can be unhealthy at best and deadly at worst. Female genital mutilation is a practice that has been undergone by some 125 million girls and women in 29 countries alone.

Stunning Reuters photos from Kenya capture traditional practices, including girls being sold into arranged marriages following a “rite of womanhood” at the edge of a blade. The camera captures girls struggling as they are forcibly carried off by their new husbands and families – a stark contrast to the lives of American teenage girls who are raised to challenge parents and people in authority as well given every opportunity to become whatever they desire.

The Washington Post reports:

In a village about 50 miles from Marigat in Baringo County, Kenya, among a tribe that practices genital mutilation as a rite of womanhood, a teenage girl is sold into an arranged marriage. Her price is 20 goats, 10 cows and a few camels, paid to her family over several weeks. And her reaction is heartbreaking.

Within the Pokot tribe, female circumcision is seen as a girl’s transition to womanhood. Although it’s now illegal in Kenya, the tribe still allows it and, in fact, forces all girls to do it before marriage. The practice is also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) and, in many countries, is considered a human rights violation. It can lead to severe bleeding, infections, infertility and death. Some 125 million girls and women in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East have experienced it, according to the United Nations.

Earlier this year, Kenya created a prosecution unit and a hotline for girls and women to report such abuse.

Abuse against women is worldwide, but many of the injustices against females never get the attention they deserve. We as free women must work to help our sisters whether they are our neighbors or citizens across the ocean.

This year’s IWF Woman of Valor recipient Ayaan Hirsi Ali expressed similar sentiments at our dinner to honor tremendous women fighting for freedom and rights. She noted:

… Then think back, decades ago, maybe a century ago, when the idea that men and women had to be equal before the law was controversial and profound and new in America and Western societies.

I want you to remember once upon a time feminists fought for the access, the basic right and access of girls to education.

That’s what feminist used to fight for, the access for girls to education. They used to fight for the recommendation of girls as fellow human beings and recommendation of their personal liberty.

We must reclaim and retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women.

Feminism is not the monster.  Some women are. We can reclaim it. We have to make it serious and you’re on the right path by standing up and giving them opposition. 

Our fight is not done, but our focus must shift from boxing shadows of victimization to the real boogey men of cultural practices that rob girls of their freedom, education, good health, and future.