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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Updated on September 15, 2013

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

Source

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

Comments

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  • Levertis Steele profile image

    Levertis Steele 

    6 years ago from Southern Clime

    There is another hub that features two women whose lips were removed, probably for punishment; I am not certain. Many cultures have practices and beliefs that are far contrary to those of other cultures. It makes me shudder just thinking about the genital mutilation.

    I think that the girls should be allowed to keep their organs intact until they are young adults and in a position to decide if they want this surgery before marriage. Marriage is honorable, but I think I would choose to remain single rather than to submit to such barbaric act. Poor children.

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    donnaMhicks

    Thanks for reading, commenting and voting. I hope the barbaric deeds will be stopped also.

    I am off to read your hub now.

    Thanks again.

    I have linked to your hub here. Link to mine on ypours if you like.

  • profile image

    donnaMhicks 

    6 years ago

    I found this hub because I just wrote about FGM myself. I first learned about it when researching/writing about human rights violations and global inequality or second-class status of women last year. Hopefully, this atrocity of FGM will be stopped soon.

    Excellent hub-Voted up

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    HB

    MT

    albertsj

    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I was appalled when I first heard about this terrible deed. The more people know about this the better.

  • albertsj profile image

    jacy albertson 

    6 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

    Absolutely NO one has a right to a womans body. NO ONE. This is sick, and inhumane, practice. And beyond barbaric. This is absulutely frightening. I've heard of it long before, but you have written a very informative hub. Thank you for a job well done. Voting up & sharing.

  • Michele Travis profile image

    Michele Travis 

    6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

    People still do this even if one of their daughter's die after they do it. They will do it to the next daughter.

  • Hummingbird5356 profile image

    Hummingbird5356 

    6 years ago

    Actually, whatever reason people give for doing this, it remains a barbaric and inhuman custom.

  • poshcoffeeco profile imageAUTHOR

    Steve Mitchell 

    6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    s_j thanks for your vote and comments. This has been out there for about 3 weeks and you are the only one to comment so far. I sometimes get the feeling that the real issues get overlooked. Hopefully the message will get through eventually. Thanks again!

  • satice_j profile image

    satice_j 

    6 years ago from via the Bronx, NY

    Okay, I couldn't read this fully, because it is a subject I know much about and it pains me to read about it. I vote you up and useful. I commend you for broaching this subject in your Hubs. I hope, as you do, this ends because it is not only child abuse, but objectification of women and girl children worldwide. Thank you for putting it out there.

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