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KETCHUM — The 12th annual Family of Woman Film Festival, with the theme "Women on the Margins," has announced it will include speaker Suzanne Bowles, the head of the Tostan Global Mobilization Team.

The POV breakfast talks and presentations will take place Feb. 27 and 28 at the Knob Hill Inn, 960 N. Main St., Ketchum, for donors of $500 and more. 

Tostan, which means “breakthrough” in the Wolof language, has become a leading model for community-led change — implemented in 22 languages across six African countries: Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and the Gambia. More than half of the participants are women; at least nine members of the 17-member community management committees must be women.

Tostan has touched about 2 million lives since its founding in 1991 as participants share their knowledge of human rights and responsibilities to interconnected groups and social networks. Through this knowledge, communities in the Tostan network have chosen to abandon female genital mutilation and other harmful practices. 

Bowles joined Tostan in 2014 as head of its global mobilization team. She has a degree in politics and international relations from Mount Holyoke College and is a graduate of the Tools for Change/Building Sustainable Local Economies at the E.F. Schumacher Society. Bowles has presented at many international gatherings such as the 2018 Girls Not Brides Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her POV presentation will focus on Tostan’s role in ending female genital mutilation.

Bowles will be joined by Naima Dido, who was born in Nairobi, Kenya, shortly after her parents fled there from Ethiopia as political refugees. In 1989, she was resettled in the U.S. with her parents and four younger siblings. A survivor of female genital mutilation herself, she has more than 20 years of experience working with underprivileged refugee communities in the U.S. and Africa and holds a bachelor's of science in international business.

The Family of Woman Film Festival was founded in Sun Valley in 2008 by board member Peggy Elliott Goldwyn and Friends of the United Nations Population Fund. The partnership's goal is to bring attention to the UNFPA's work in more than 150 countries to assure women and girls have access to reproductive health care, education and basic human rights.

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