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Mariya Taher


Mariya Taher is the Co-Founder and Director of Sahiyo U.S., founded in 2015, with the mission to empower communities to end female genital cutting (FGC), with a focus on Asian communities who are often underrepresented in terms of acknowledging that FGC occurs.

Taher was born in the U.S. in a community that practiced FGC, so she has had knowledge on the issue since she was a child. After pursuing research on FGC in the U.S. in graduate school for social work, Mariya began writing publicly about the topic, understanding that the only way to create change is to break the silence on this form of gender-based violence.

The more she shared, the more she heard from other survivors, and the more she saw how silence and isolation led to its continuation. These experiences led her to act: to pursue research, policy, program development, and direct service to end FGC in the U.S. Today, Sahiyo U.S. has been recognized for its innovative approach to using storytelling to influence communities to abandon FGC. The organization also provides training and curricula to educate service-providers throughout the U.S. working in healthcare, education, social work, law, government, and more on how to give culturally specific care to survivors.

Mariya has been instrumental in bringing FGC to the forefront in the U.S., not only through Sahiyo U.S., but also by sitting on the steering committee for the US End FGM/C Network, supporting several states passing policy addressing FGC, and serving as an expert consultant for the 2021 Department of Justice - Office of Victims of Crime Addressing Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting technical assistance project.

Support the organization via donation

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