Welcome to Part 2 of our March 2024 Inspirational Interview with Amanda Parker, Senior Director of the AHA Foundation in the US.

Amanda Parker has 13 years of experience working to end harmful practices in the US. She has worked in dozens of states and federally to successfully enact laws that address violence against women and serves on the steering committee of the U.S. Coalition to End Child Marriage. She has facilitated trainings on honour violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), and forced and child marriage for more than 2,000 professionals, and has supported survivors of these abuses to help them find protection and the services they need. 

In this part of the interview, Amanda talks about her organisation’s impact in the US and its future plans.

Part 1 of Amanda’s interview was published 3 March, 2024.

All photos are courtesy of the AHA Foundation.

6. What sort of impact has AHA’s work had on the US’ approach and wider attitudes towards VAW since 2007?

Data from our research programme informs and fuels trainings led by the U.S. Department of Justice. Our model anti-FGM law has been passed across the United States and our efforts have inspired lawmakers, survivors, and everyday citizens to work towards passing laws that don’t just punish perpetrators but also support survivors and work towards the prevention of abuse.


7. How do you think men and boys can help to end violence against women?

There is an incredible scene from Leyla Hussein’s documentary, The Cruel Cut, where she works to educate a group of young men in England who are from communities that traditionally practise FGM. The scene starts with them all being either neutral or positive towards the practice of FGM and after graphically showing them the realities of FGM, the scene ends with group of men who now will not stand for their daughters to be cut, and some who will undoubtedly speak out against the practice. 

The fight against violence against women will not be won without the participation of men and boys. We need them to act as allies, working alongside us in our efforts. Starting with listening and learning all the way through to holding each other accountable, standing up for what is right and speaking out, men and boys must take action. 


8.Tell us about AHA Foundation’s plans for the future. What campaigns, programmes, or projects do you have coming up in the next 5 years?

When we first began our campaign to ban FGM across the US, only 19 states had specific laws targeting FGM on their books. Today, I’m proud to say that 41 states have now passed anti-FGM legislation, and we have led those efforts. In the next five years we want to cross off the remaining 9 states and the District of Columbia. We will also fight to see similar progress on banning child marriage across the country.

Armed with our recent report on FGM prevalence, we will be in a better position to target our programmes for training professionals and creating networks to address FGM on a local level. Now that most states have specifically banned FGM, we know this is where our focus needs to be in our fight against the practice. We will also provide maps and data from our research program to other professionals working to end FGM to inform their efforts.


9. How can The Pixel Project’s supporters engage with and support AHA’s efforts to stop violence against women?

Most people don’t know that women and girls in the US face these issues. Helping to raise awareness about harmful practices in the US is one of the easiest and most important ways to help our efforts. Sharing a post on social media or talking to your friends about honour violence, forced marriage, child marriage, or FGM can have a big impact. And of course, like all nonprofits, individual donors fuel our work; if anyone feels inspired to donate, they can do so via our website, www.theahafoundation.org.


10.In your considered opinion, how can we end violence against women for good?

I’m not the first to say this, but as a global community, we must all realise that violence against one of us is violence against all of us. If we’re serious about ending these abuses, we must not stop until women everywhere are free and equal.