FLAS Fellow Isatou Jallow


Isatou Jallow, French

What is your department and degree?

University of Washington School of Law, LLM Sustainable International Development


What do you focus on in your research/studies?

As a Sustainable International Development (SID) LL.M. student at the University of Washington School of Law I am interested in many different human rights and development-related legal issues. I have a passion for eradicating the practice of FGM, among immigrant communities in the U.S.  The practice of immigrant families sending their daughters back to Africa for FGM is common, even among immigrant communities in Seattle.


How are your research/studies related to Europe?

France provides a unique context to study law and policy with respect to FGM because of its tough stance on the practice of FGM among immigrant communities in France.  France has criminalized the procedure, even when families send their daughters back home to have it done.  I hope to study France’s approach to learn what I can from it as an advocate in the U.S. My research will focus on how the practice of FGM has been criminalized in France based on pre-existing criminal law, prior prosecutions under those; any new laws, policies, and or/regulations dealing with FGM; and other measures in addition to prosecutions that are being taken in France to address the root causes of this practice.


What are you looking forward to?

My planned course of study includes learning advanced level French at the University of Washington throughout the Academic of 2016/17 and Summer 2016. My goal is to gain in-depth knowledge of the French language that will allow me to be able to do research about French law and policy that affects sub-Saharan African immigrant women and their access to health. Most sub-Saharan African immigrants are from francophone Africa; these countries still look up to France. The large percentages of these women have survived these harmful traditional practices, which have been in their societies for generations.