- Politics and Social Issues
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
This Is Not Confined To Africa
This subject was brought to my attention this week from again listening to a programme on BBC Radio 2, Jeremy Vine show at lunchtimes and utterly sickened me to the point that I had to write this article to add weight to the campaign which is underway to rid the world of this horrible, scandalous act of child abuse.
For those of you who have never heard about Female Genital Mutilation or FGM for short, it is the female equivalent of Male circumcision only 100 times worse. I will try to explain the reasons for this terrible act on young girls but know that parents and families of theses girls can never justify what they are doing to them in the 21st century and this must be stopped.
Symbol of innocence
Why Does This Happen?
This is thought to have originally started in the Nubia region of the Horn of Africa which is now Egypt / Sudan. This was around the time 2200 B.C.
It is believed that this barbaric custom was initiated in order for a young girl to marry well and therefore, to do this she needed to be cut. An uncut girl was and is still seen to be unclean. A cut girl will make a good marriage because of this initiation into womanhood.
You have to ask yourself how any parent of a young girl could allow this to be done. It is such a deep seated tradition that they believe it is the best start in life the girl could have in order to attract the right partner. An unmarried and uncut woman is deemed to be unclean and is thought better to have a cut daughter than an unmarried one.
What trauma must this cause these young girls, not to mention the pain and hurt, God only knows ?
You would think that this act would be linked to some cult religion but is is adopted by the religions of both Islam and Christianity it would seem. It could be argued, I suppose that male circumcision among the Jewish community is normal as part of their religion so why not FGM ?
Or is it because it is a despicable act which is thrust apon innocent girls to a body part which is so beautiful,vital yet so private.
What does FGM entail ?
FGM is the cutting, sometimes with a razor blade at birth by the grandmother of a young girl's Clitoris. There are three levels of this brutal abuse and I will endeavour to explain :-
- Type 1 Removal of the clitoral hood
- Type 2 Removal of the clitoris and inner labia ( often done by scraping large labia)
- Type 3 Infibulation and removal of inner and outer labia
As well as the above being done and if this is not enough there is also the fusion of the wound. Sewing up of the vagina leaving only the smallest hole for urination and the passage of menstrual blood.
You can only imagine what the young girls then have to endure for the rest of their lives as a result of this. Infection is prevailant due to the fact that these operations are carried out in the open or in the home by family members unqualified in any type of surgery. Implements used are not sterile and are often home made. Writing this makes the blood boil but it is the only way I can think to address the awareness of this terrible plight.
Effects of FGM
The effects of these operations can be diastrous and cause death at the time or haemorrage due to blood loss. Other complications such as recurring infections of the urinary tract and vaginal area. Problems during child birth labour and chronic pain on an ongoing basis.
What is your view ?
If you have a view on this subject please feel free to contact me or comment.This is such an immotive and emotional subject I would suggest that you come back from time to time as I will update this article as and when further information comes to light.
Justice cannot be done to the subject in one sitting so will add stories and experiences at a later date.
I just wanted to get the article out there to inform many of you, who like me knew nothing about this distressing subject.
For more information please follow the links below
For more information follow the links
- Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation is illegal in the UK. If you know someone at risk of FGM you can find information and contacts here that can help.
- Female Genital Cutting - Health - The New York Times
A free collection of articles about female genital cutting published in The New York Times.
- Female genital mutilation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- BBC - BBC Radio 2 Programmes - Jeremy Vine
Programme containing FGM interview
- Orchid Project: Working together to end female genital cutting
Orchid Project is working for a global end to female genital cutting with a significant reduction by 2025.