Hanny Lightfoot-Klein is an acknowledged expert on the topic of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Forced Marriage and Honor Killing of women in Africa. She now devotes a considerable part of her time to making the knowledge and insights she has accumulated over the past 25 years of service as an Expert Witness in Immigration Court (in the United States and Europe.)
Ms. Lightfoot-Klein provides written affidavits, telephonic testimony and/or court appearance for asylum seekers threatened with removal back to their own countries, where they and/or their daughters may be subjected to:
Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Rape and other forms of Physical Abuse
Ms. Lightfoot-Klein has published her research findings in four books an has won an award for "Outstanding Ethnographic Scholarship in Sexology" for her book entitled "Prisoners of Ritual". She was also a finalist for the "June Roth Memorial Book Award for Excellence in Writing on Health and Medicine", presented by the American Society of Journalists and Authors for A Woman's Odyssey into Africa.
Ms. Lightfoot-Klein received her Masters of Arts degree in Social Psychology from the American University in Washington, D.C. in 1959 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1950.
Between 1979 and 1984, she spent a total of 32 months of self-motivated, concentrated field research in Sudan, Kenya, and Egypt, studying female genital mutilation (FGM). The geographic area of her most intensive research was northern and central Sudan, where the practices are particularly severe and ubiquitous. A considerable portion of this time was also devoted to researching the practices in Kenya.
Secret Wounds is the long-awaited final segment of Lightfoot-Klein's trilogy. Once again, the subject of her impassioned treatise is the genital mutilation of non-consenting minors, whose practice has not only been culturally embedded in Africa over millennia, but which has been medicalized in the United States on male, female, and intersex children since the mid-eighteen hundreds.
Here is the intriguing story of one woman's mid-life flight from her stultified, middle-class, psychologically crippling, and unfulfilled existence into a world of high adventure, danger, hardship, and endurance, which ultimately leads her to autonomy and recognition. In her new book, A Woman's Odyssey Into Africa, Hanny Lightfoot-Klein chronicles three year-long solo backpacking treks through remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa. In the process, she discovers the mainsprings of strength within herself as she follows her own drummer, finding the courage to face the darkest and most secret convolutions of her own mind.
This unique volume focuses on the psychosexual and social effects of female genital mutilation, an ancient, deeply entrenched custom saturating the larger part of Africa. Over a period of six years, Author Hanny Lightfoot-Klein trekked through outlying areas of Sudan, Kenya, and Egypt, where she lived with a number of African families. What she learned by way of in-depth personal interviews and firsthand observation has enabled her to add a previously unknown and often astonishing dimension to our knowledge of ritual practices and human sexuality.
The object of this book is to give voice to the multitudes of human beings who exist behind the statistics on genital surgery performed on them when they were non-consenting children, and who have long endured their suffering in silence, for reasons of suppression, desperation, or shame. I have endeavored to create an understanding of the connection between genital surgery perpetrated on infants and children too young to be capable of meaningful consent or effective protest, and of the frequently cataclysmic diminution in quality of life that they have suffered as a consequence.
Secret Wounds is the long-awaited final segment of Lightfoot-Klein's trilogy. Once again, the subject of her impassioned treatise is the genital mutilation of non-consenting minors, whose practice has not only been culturally embedded in Africa over millennia, but which has been medicalized in the United States on male, female, and intersex children since the mid-eighteen hundreds. In Secret Wounds, this pioneering author's exciting new book, she interweaves her astute personal insights with the wealth of information she has accumulated over 24 years of intensive study. She explores the tyrannies of custom and societal control, under whose unyielding domination these cruel rituals continue to exit, and why attempts to abolish them have consistently failed in the past.