Dr. Michael Jennings

Email: mj10@soas.ac.uk

Michael Jennings is Chair of the Centre of African Studies, and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. He works on Tanzanian politics and society, and on East African politics more widely.  Dr Jennings has written reports for use in courts on politics and political violence, domestic violence and gender issues, and issues around homophobia and sexuality-based violence in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

Laura Young, JD, MPH

Email: prorightsllp@gmail.com

Laura is a US-trained human rights lawyer based in Nairobi, Kenya who works across sub-Saharan Africa as a consultant on governance and human rights for USAID, the UN, governments, and international NGOs. Laura has published numerous articles and reports focused on conflict dynamics, gender, minority rights, transitional justice, migration, health, and other human rights issues in the African context. Laura has provided expert input for immigration and asylum cases in both the US and UK, focused on LGBT, FGM/C, domestic violence, trafficking, access to health services (including mental health and HIV), ex-combatants, ethnic minorities, disability access, police protection, and other key issues.

Mary-Anne Decatur (FGM/C)

Email: m_decatur@soas.ac.uk

Mary-Anne Decatur is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her research in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania examines the ways in which Maasai and Chagga people conceptualize the practice of FGM/C on social, cultural, historical and medical grounds. This research analyses why FGM/C has persisted in Maasai communities and examines Chagga people’s narratives of how the practice has largely ended in their own communities. Her research explores further how differing understandings of FGM/C shape predominantly Chagga NGO and healthcare employees’ strategies for ending the practice in Maasai communities and influence Maasai interpretations of these campaigns. She has additionally published and given talks on her research examining relationships between activists and members of FGM/C practising communities at a London-based NGO.