Stories of female genital mutilation   
By Meeri Koutaniemi/Echo

winner of the Reportage of the Year 2012 in Finland





There are over 140 million girls and women who have faced female genital mutilation. Female circumcision is a custom to remove parts of girl's genitals because of cultural beliefs or tradition. Female genital cutting has been widely judged as a procedure against human rights and as a serious violation against women's independency of sexuality.
Escaped is a story of young Masai girls living in a shelter home in Kenya. They have run away from their native villages before or after the scheduled circumcision and child marriage. Elisabeth Hkere left her home when she was 9-years old. Her father had sold her to become a wife for a 65-year-old man as an exchange for animals and sugar. Elisabeth found shelter home from rescue center Tasaru where she shared similar past with other Masai girls.



About Echo

Every action, every event, both dramatic, violent, spectacular and emotional, leaves behind a trace, influencing the surrounding environment, giving life to new stories, stories of the people who faced the events or went through them.

Leaving an ECHO.

And over these human territories, echo spreads. The photojounalists part of Echo Agency tell these stories to the world, narrating the behind the scenes and the consequences, knowing that all happens for a reason, and understanding this means getting to the bottom of the cause.

© 2012 Echo Photo Agency