Guest Blogger: Jillian McCarthy

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

I recently encountered the idea of excision, also known as “female circumcision,” or, more appropriately, “female genital mutilation” in some readings for a philosophy class. It is performed around the world, most commonly in Africa, but also in places like the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. 85 to 115 million of today’s women have been excised, according to the World Health Organization, and up to 98% of women in places like Somalia and 93% in Mali have undergone the procedure (May 17).

The process involves removing the clitoris in less intrusive forms of FGM and removing as much as the inner and outer lips, leaving the vagina partially exposed, in its more extreme forms.

The results are a permanent loss of sexual pleasure for the woman. In the short term, women sometimes experience hemorrhaging, tetanus, septicemia, and possible death. In the long term, chronic infection can occur, as well as long-term pain and scars that hinder walking, not to mention the psychological and emotional effects that come as a result of removing a woman’s most personal and fragile organs (Rachels 25). So, the benefits of FGM must be pretty good, right?

Arguments in favor of FGM are that there are fewer unwanted pregnancies when women experience no sexual pleasure, an idea that suggests that it is women who provoke men to sex and not vice versa, that women will be less inclined to cheat on their husbands, and that they will therefore be more attentive to their families, becoming better mothers and housekeepers. These benefits depict women as unable to control of their desires and incapable of caring for their families and husbands if they are distracted by sexual pleasure. Furthermore, according to supporters of FGM, the importance of sexual pleasure is overly emphasized in western media and society. Obviously, this means that women’s sexual pleasure is overly emphasized, seeing as male excision is not a common practice. (This would involve removing most of the penis in less intrusive forms of FGM and removing the entire penis as well as some of the scrotum in its more extreme forms. Think it’s the equivalent of male circumcision? Do you know any men who would be willing to give up their penis? I don’t.)

I knew before reading these articles that FGM is performed throughout the world, but I had no idea how prominent a trend it is. FGM is another way to break down and control women. After all, to take away a woman’s sexual pleasure, which is a liberating experience, is another way to keep her in submission. Removing one of the organs that biologically defines her also removes a part of her identity, which in turn lessens her ability and will to try to overcome the patriarchal structure. Does this make anyone else as angry as it makes me?

Michele’s Note: For those in WMST100, we will be reading more about FGM in Week 11.

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23 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Jillian McCarthy

  1. Sarah Canavan says:

    Wow. I also have heard of this procedure before but 85-115 million? That’s a far bigger number than I would have ever expected. In Language and Gender we just discussed how female and male-specific organs are such an ingrained part of gender identity. To surgically excise part of your identity… And, looking at the last picture that you included, it seems as though it’s certainly not an anesthetized procedure or performed just after birth, as circumcision is.

    Furthermore, what is the justification of this procedure? While circumcision began as a religious practice (from what I know about it’s history) and is now far more common purely for the health benefits, this procedure has NO benefits for women beyond… what? That they are incapable of enjoying sex? That they will be more obedient and submissive women? It’s a procedure purely designed to subjugate women. I don’t know the historical and cultural motives behind the procedure, and it’s possible that there are more cultural justifications but I can’t think of any. At all.

    So yes. This makes me angry.

  2. Genital mutilation is the symbol of what is happening to women around the world. Many suffer from fistulas and are sold into brothels by their parents; girls hold no value to the family. They are up for grabs, so to speak. But with FGM comes the opposing virtue of virginity–a virgin is most desired. It’s widely known men beat their wives if, on their wedding night, they see she is not a virgin. Holding a woman to her virginity and FGM are ways of taking control of women.

    Even more tragic is that there is no one for many of these women to go to. There was a case where a 14-year old girl was kidnapped, raped and abused, then escaped. When her parents took her to authorities, they dismissed her, saying she asked for the rape so she could marry the rapist (it was common for a woman to marry the man she lost her virginity to). She was kidnapped again by the same man and endured the same tortures. Upon her second escape, a judge dismissed her, saying the man couldn’t possibly want her because she was not a virgin. To my knowledge, the case is still open. It made international headlines and thankfully the girl is out of harm’s way.

    But the systematic rape of women in countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the Congo is so widely accepted it’s sickening. Girls as young as 10 are sold into prostitution; and many are given addictive drugs, to prevent them from running away. While it is easy for us in America to say, “Speak up and get help!” it’s not nearly as simple. If a woman opens her mouth it can ensure a suffering death to either her or someone she loves. The government and authorities work together, and keep the women silent.

    FGM is less about taking away pleasure for the woman than it is about taking control. A rapist rapes for control and power–it has nothing to do with sex. The same, I believe, goes for FGM. Men are making sure the women know who’s in charge. It makes our problems trivial.

    I suggest reading, “Half the Sky.” Nauseating, graphic, moving, compelling–trust me, you won’t be the same.

  3. Morgan Gibeault says:

    Female circumcision is not only wrong, but degrading. In my sociology class we went over this topic multiple times. One question seemed to keep coming up. Does America have the right to go into these countries and stop this self-mutilation? My answer was simply yes. Although politically it is not right to change another countries rituals it is still our duty as a strong country to enforce women’s rights. The pictures documented on this blog makes my “yes” answer even stronger. Women should not be mutilated, especially at such a young age. If men are so worried about their women cheating then why are they not looking at themselves as husbands?
    A women’s want to cheat does not always have to do with sexual pleasure. And if that’s what men in these countries think is the reason for cheating then they are overlooking themselves in extreme ways. Taking away part of a women’s biological make up is a slap in the face. If men seem to think its okay to do this then why don’t they step up to the plate and take away what defines them as men? Yeah right. Someone needs to step in and change this. It just doesn’t seem fair. America should be less concerned with fighting about issues in other countries and start to be concerned with fixing them. But that’s just my opinion.

  4. levenstein says:

    In response to Jillian’s question, FGM certainly angers me as well. Last year I took a course called “Discourses of Rape in Contemporary Culture.” We read several accounts about the practice of FGM in Middle Eastern Countries. We read personal stories, facts about the process, the roots of the custom, and so on. What we never did was look at photos such as the ones featured in this blog post. These photos nearly made me sick just looking at them. Even though they are not graphic, they display the fear, pain and oppression that the young women must experience as they undergo genital alteration. This post showed me how powerful an image can be alongside words.

    The readings we did in our class talked about how the United States is trying to intervene on these customs. Many women’s activists groups and legal groups want to stop the practice from occurring because the results can be damaging to women. In an account we read in class, one Middle Eastern woman practices FGM said that she wished the US would stop interfering with her culture’s traditions. FGM is a foreign and corrupt process to US citizens, however to other cultures it has been practiced for years, thus now holds a position as traditional. This custom reminds me of Chinese foot binding, the practice of shortening a woman’s foot. This was practice for many years even though it was painful and damaging. We may see FMG as horrible, but for those who experience it, they see its benefits. In another account we read in class a young girl asked her mom when she was going to become genitally circumcised because all her friends were getting it. Unfortunately, the practice has become so common in many cultures that it is seen as a right of passage, similar to the way girls in American culture get their ears pierced when they are young.

    I personally do not support FGM for many reasons, mostly that it further leads to the control of a women’s sexual freedom. Women all over the world are limited in so many ways and I think altering their bodies to further their inferior status is inhumane. I do, however, understand how deeply rooted this custom is in many cultures. As Americans, we can try our hardest to stop it from occurring but in the end culture will dominate.

  5. Claire says:

    FGM is something that I have never been able to comprehend. This blog was difficult to read, and the pictures were even more difficult to look at. Just recently in my Cultural Anthropology class, my professor was discussing the challenges anthropologists encounter when trying to be mediators between cultures. Like Katie talked about, he explained that this practice is something that acts as a “rite of passage” for women. He talked about how many women are unreceptive and resistant to outsiders who are trying to stop FGM, because they feel it is a misinterpretation on our part of their religious and cultural beliefs.

    While I agree with my professor in the sense that westerners often try to intervene before fully understanding a culture, it is still inexcusable that, for instance, in Sudan, 1/3 of girls who undergo FGM will die. It’s furthermore, inexcusable that in Centrafrican Republic, Eygpt, and Eritrea an estimated one million women will die from FGM(taken from http://www.path.org/files/FGM-The-Facts.htm). If cultures are going to practice FGM, then taking necessary steps to protect the female needs to occur (i.e sterilization, proper medication and procedural steps).

    With all this said , I am completely horrified by FGM and believe that it is a horrible, degrading and invasive thing that shouldn’t occur. We are, according to Michele, in a 4th wave of Feminism. How can we allow things like this to occur when we have spent centuries fighting for women’s rights, equality, freedom and recognition as an individual. Why it is the female who seduces the male? Why are women portrayed as having uncontrollable sex desires that deserve being suppressed? I think Jillian made a very good point, not many boys/men are willing to get their penis’s removed, so why should women have to remove their genitalia?

  6. The misconception of “the woman asked for it” – whether it’s sex, rape, etc. – is a frequent (false) belief that’s referenced in gender-related discourse. During the summer, I took through NYU called “Women in the Media,” in which we talked extensively about how the media portrayed women who were victims of sex crimes. (We discussed FGM briefly as well.) FGM and sex crimes are two completely different topics, but they share a common theme – more accurately, an inaccurate stereotype – of women who are unable to control their sexual desires. In the sex crimes we discussed, the woman was depicted as a “virgin” or a “vamp.” (I talked a bit about this in a different post.) She was either a poor, defenseless victim (a “virgin”) or a sexually aggressive creature (a “vamp”). The majority of the case studies concluded the victim was a vamp, and was therefore leading the men on, asking to be sexually exploited. This is a bit like the story Stephan relayed: The woman was asking to be raped.

    I think Katie brings up a good point about how FGM is viewed differently in other cultures. Like everyone else, I absolutely do no support this, but where do we – as women, as educated individuals, as citizens of the United States of America – step in? Essentially, FGM has become institutionalized in the countries that practice it; challenging – and ideally changing – this new “institution” is a daunting task.

  7. Gabrielle Perez says:

    I would definitely agree with everyone’s opinions because I think Female Genital Mutilation is wrong in general, but I want to play devil’s advocate a little bit. Regardless of how we as the Western Feminists see FGM, it is widely accepted by different cultures in Africa. Women see this as a tradition that they want to uphold for generations to come because it transcends into their culture.

    During my sophomore year, I saw a video in my “International Feminism” class about FGM in Africa. Although it is extremely painful for girls, they know that it must be done because it is tradition in their culture. I was taken aback at the fact that these little girls are so submissive when it came to FGM, but they saw it as the right thing to do for their community. Girls as young as 11 were giving in to getting their clitoris cut off.

    It’s really upsetting to see things like this happen in 3rd world countries, but we can’t just continue to rant about how things are wrong when we don’t even know if they have an issue with it. It’s really hard for us to open our minds about things like this, especially since we have tunnel vision when it comes to issues revolving around women and justice. Like the NARAL says, “my mind, my body, my choice.” Ultimately we don’t know who’s allowing for FGM to continue, but it’s definitely up to the person.

    What do you all think?

  8. I, alongside Katie and Stephen, was in the Discourse of Rape class which read the book Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. I agree with what has been said how startling it FGM is and how it does control women! One comparison I remember that Kristof made in the book was how it is similar to foot binding in China. This oppressive practice still holds the significance of control and forces women to live in pain. A pain that is hidden from one’s eyes but shows the scars when unwrapped, much as genital mutation is hidden from eyes but still very present. There is brutality that is inflicted on women from all corners of the world, and it is masked in tradition and expectation, and while we may lift our brows and gasp in disbelief, it comes down to cultural relativism and traditional rituals that refuse to be discontinued by those who dominate, leaning on the consequence of what will happen to those who do not comply! I agree with Kristof in taking a grassroots approach in trying for change, and also exposing what is happening around the world to the many who don’t know, for banning together and also connecting within a community from an equal level can lead to change, instead of forcing it upon them.
    There does need to be change and I can see that were are part of that process.
    the book Half the Sky is really incredible in connecting and witnessing all these issues!

  9. Katie Smith says:

    I had heard about this procedure being done, but I had no idea it was as common as it is! It is hard to believe that cultures can actually find justifications for this type of mutilation. It is no where as NEAR as extreme as circumcision, which is a religious practice. I did a little outside research, and no where have I found a single argument that there are positive, beneficial, physical reasons for this practice to occur. In fact, even the psychological reasoning is completely absurd. It saddens me that different cultures believe that by destroying a woman’s ability to enjoy sex means that they will be more faithful and submissive. Such patriarchal societies seem like a myth since I personally have never experienced such degrading practices. However, we see in this country (far too often i’m afraid) women being physically and psychologically tormented in order to be rendered helpless. In Making Connections there is a large segment about rape, and all of the different repercussions. Although women MAY (notice the use of the word, this is not always the case) not have physical permanent, debilitating injuries, the psychological torment that comes along with rape is enough to make a woman lose her interest in sex and to potentially see herself as “below” the male figures in her life. When this happens, it is one more aspect of femininity (self empowerment) that we as women had to worry about losing.

  10. Kathryn says:

    I guess that my first response to this wasn’t as much anger as it was horror. I have been aware of FGM since high school, but it never fails to shock me every time I read about it. The pictures here are especially poignant. I understand that to many people, FGM is a simply a custom and people don’t even think twice about it. However, customs are not acceptable if they cause human suffering. Just look at the faces on these terrified children. Not only do they not have a choice in the matter, but they are also being “inducted” into a society that will perpetuate these traditions, making it that much harder for them to question the practice, and ultimately escape. To me, the most sickening part of this whole scenario is the cyclical nature of the practice–it doesn’t seem to be slowing down as thousands of unwilling young girls are brought up to believe this treatment is a necessary right of passage. As a previous post mentioned, it’s all about “calming” down the sexuality of the woman to make her more manageable–good intentions? I think not.

  11. Chris Bramwell says:

    Speaking as a typical man, it’s very difficult to understand what is really happening here. Even though I am empathetic to the cause, I will most likely never experience what it’s like to have an organ, let alone a sex organ, completely destroyed; I will also most likely never be raped, abused (unless I am a child), or otherwise physically or sexually demeaned in my lifetime, so I guess the only comment I can make is an overall “why”. Why do people coerce women to undergo such a terrible experience? If we value women at all (which is sadly a serious topic), why would we force them to undergo this surgery especially when we know that after such a surgery their lifetime will be full of pain and suffering? Does this mean the concept of ensuring faithfulness and piety for women is more important than seemingly simple universal freedoms? Unfortunately, this is apparently so. All this proves to me is that the we have a long way to go – I for one am sickened.

  12. Nick says:

    I am not sure that I know anybody that would try and defend a practice like this. It is a disgusting and what appears to be, completely pointless act, which has been said many times already. Really I am not even sure what turning women away from sex does to improve any culture. It was mentioned that this is done in the U.S, which surprises me. I had heard about this being done but was unaware that they did it here. I would assume that it would be up to the parents if it is done here, but it is really something I do not know much about. I think that it creates some gender and relationship issues, if only the male is fully able to enjoy sex. I really do not know much about this topic but it seems totally pointless and I would like to find out why it started and has become so popular.

  13. Isaias says:

    I knew that this painful procedure existed but I had no clue that many people go through with the actual process. It is horrific to see a child endure that type of pain for their culture. When I first started to think about the procedure, the first thing that came to my mind was “are these women doing this extraction because they want to be like men?” In the Torah (jewish bible), it states that every man is supposed to be circumcised. I am thinking if women within this culture think that this would give them some type of authority or power in their community or society. That would be the only reason why I would go through that type of pain is if I knew that I was going to be better off. But if I wasn’t going to benefit from any procedure I would never even think about it twice! What do you guys think?

  14. Edlange Philistin says:

    In all numerous cultural practices that I found to question my morals and values, this one by far angers me the most. According to Amnesty International, over 2 million procedures are performed every year. This highly practiced ritual for the most part is reason for a worldwide debate, as is should be. Too bad the number of innocent children having to undergo this procedure is fairly high. It advocates also believe that it is a way of preserving a woman for a husband since husbands who marry non-virginal woman are stigmatized by their communities for having married a woman that is so “unpure.”
    Concisdering how intricate the female anatomy is, I find it puzzling how there no priority the medical consequences that these women suffer, particularly those that have the procedure done “in the bush” where a poorly skilled midwife carries out the procedure without anesthesia or sterilization. Undergoing these procedures also increase the chances of infant death. But hey for the sake of guaranteeing your daughter acceptance from the community, a husband and purity, why not?
    Yet despite the negative impact, many continue to believe in this custom. In book called Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof, when a group of woman who had originally carried out the procedure had chosen to abandon it upon learning of how the adverse effects it had on women’s health, they were ostracized by their community. Even law passed and implemented by developed nations was to no avail. In Sudan where British law enacted the cessation of female cutting, 90 percent of Sudanese girls have been cut. “This is our culture! We all want it. Why is it America’s business?”, exclaimed a Sudanese midwife. Despite being problematic, the procedure is still revered as the rite of passage for a young girl. Despite the high risk of death and definite loss of sexual pleasure for a woman, it is still something that people continue to advocate for. Wake up people!

  15. oliviacarb says:

    Female sexuality has long been mistaken for the vagina – “the source of life,” so to speak. Reproduction and maternity have been considered the premise of female sexuality, but we must not disregard the taboos that contribute to “deviant” women’s constructions of their sexual selves. Masturbation and homosexuality exist outside the Freudian notion of women as a lack and as the possessors of a purely vaginal sexuality. The unifying element that can be employed to construct more than one type of female sexuality and in turn, free women from the phallic model that has dominated society and quelled her sexuality: The Clitoris.

    Removing the clitoris is not only degrading and oppressive but a means of control. Clearly the men in this culture are aware of the power the clitoris holds and in order to prevent women from rising from their passive role in society it is imperative for them to cut off the very thing that makes women unique from any other species. They are denying women their sexuality which in turn denies them their freedom by establishing control. The removal of the clitoris is an act to keep women subordinated, to prevent them from realizing their sexual potential and power – which they believe will prevent her from deviating from her societal expectations. It’s sad, but while these girls are being phsyically cirscumsized, we must also recognize the castration that has occurred on all women for centuries via the ignorance of the clitoris, its function, its purpose, and its superiority.

  16. Tom Michaud says:

    I did a project on FGM last semester for my gender, sex, and science class, and while i agree that these are horrible procedures, i dont see it all as a bad thing. There are places in this world where these procedures are “rights of passage” if you will. Im not saying that i agree with the procedure, but as a cultural thing, female circumcision can be a bonding experience. In sudan, which is where most of my research focused, it said that these procedures were done by women to women, and in the company of only women. If everyone woman in your village has gone through this, then you cant help but think its the norm, and something that you must do to be a part of that society. And there are place also, like Egypt, where they do it in a hospital with sterile tools and just as cleanly as an american hospital. So its not just broken bottles and rusty knives that do the cutting. While i do not agree with this procedure, i think it can be a good thing. that sounds weird to me too, but the ideology of it, i think, should be seen from both sides. If this is a woman saying to another woman, that this is something that must be done if she wants to be a part of the whole. We all give up a little to be a part of a group; of a society, so in that respect i can see why this practice still continues (barbarous as it is). Overall, the bad outweighs the good on this issue, destroying women’s ability to experience pleasure is just too shitty, but i think this is a practice that, if manifested in a better way, could be a good unifying connection between so many women around the world.

    • Jillian McCarthy says:

      Yes, FGM is done by women for women but the reason these women feel the need to do it is the patriarchal structure in their society that seeks to subjugate and control them. It is seen as a right of passage only beacuse males have created that ideology for the women. It’s irrelevant whether or not the procedure is done in a hospital or in unsanitary conditions because the concept is the same: Remove women’s means of sexual pleasure in order to keep them in submission. By taking away one of our most private and important body parts you remove a little part of our identity, making it easier to control and demean us.

      So, Tom, I’d like to restate my question to you as a male: Would you be willing to sacrifice your penis in order to “bond” with other men or to be more accepted in your society if that was the norm? Would undergoing this “rite of passage” justify the permanent loss of your own sexual pleasure?

  17. Courtney Notte says:

    Having heard about the practice of FGM a number of years ago, I was still shocked to learn about its contemporary prominence. It’s a practice that really speaks to how pockets of (patriarchal) societies think about women’s sexuality and women’s right to participate in and enjoy sex. I think the practice of FGM highlights an innate fear related to the effects of the sexual liberation of women and its effects on ‘the family’, more specifically, men’s roles in the family. FGM is, in effect, the word of a patriarchal society, telling women that sex is too much of a responsibility for them. “Listen to us, go with this, it’s good for you.” I find it frightening and outrageous that there are pockets of the world in which men still have the power to dominate women so completely that they can enforce literal castration of young girls. Implicitly, FGM suggests that desire is too much for women to handle – an odd assertion, I think, given that typically statistics on infidelity (and I will be the first to admit that reliable statistics related to fidelity are hard to find) show that men are more likely to engage in infidelity than women. It’s also interesting that typically, more men admit to committing infidelity than women. Further, research has shown that more men than women said they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught. Whether it is true that one sex or the other is more likely to cheat can’t be decided from sketchy statistics alone.
    I think FGM is ritualised barbarism – an archaic and grotesquely unnecessary manifestation of a perceived sexual weakness in women. It’s not just a physical mutilation of girls’ developing bodies. It is an emotional mutilation of their sexuality and their confidence and comfortability in expressing that side of themselves.

  18. Sarah Drapela says:

    I also first heard about FGM while in high school. I was watching an episode of Strong Medicine and there was a case where a young girl ended up dying from complications in the procedure. I was shocked by what I saw and I am still shocked every time I hear about FGM being allowed to happen. The girls that go through this and even agree to the procedure have no idea what they are getting into. There is no benefit what so ever to FGM and the repercussions are not just psychological but physical as well. There is no doubt that the girls that experience this “rite of passage” are never the same mentally and emotionally. But those problems don’t even take into account the physical trauma. The girls first have to survive the procedure itself and likely countless infections that will follow. FGM is a practice that truly terrifies and disgusts me. I understand that there are cultural components that I can’t grasp, but I don’t know how anyone could allow this to happen to their children.

  19. Colleen Lukas says:

    I have heard of FGM many times before, but I have never really grasped how absolutely appalling it is until now. I think the biggest eye opener for me was first of all reading how frequently it really happens and second of all see the heart-wrenching pictures that accompanied the post. It disgusted me to see that young girls we subjected to this despicable process without any kind of pain relief. I was just as disgusted by the picture of the knives. They have to be the most filthy looking knives I have ever seen and I’m positive that they would cause severe or fatal infection when used. FGM is probably the most inhuman procedure I have ever heard of and I wish we could do more to stop it.

  20. Dan Dechert says:

    Unfortunately FGM is a topic that I have grown to be very familiar with over last semester’s course titled Discourses of Rape in Contemporary Culture. Much of our class conversation revolved around topics such as this where we were forced to read in great detail and depth personal accounts of such horrible mistreatment of women. A book titled Half the Sky, by Nicholas Kristof, told the real life horror stories of numerous cases globally that women had to endure such gruesome procedures in the name of social norms.

    What bothered me most about FGM was the willingness that women in the aforementioned societies had for both themselves and their daughters to be a part of such tradition. What I learned from last semester’s course was that women in these cultures had such little power and likely even less of a voice when it came to any type of political or social hearing. The male supporters of FGM do so because it is merely another way to exert control over women, and make them even more so submissive to their demands. By eliminating sexual fulfillment from women’s lives these societies are denying another human right, which happens to be just one of many taken from women in these environments.

    A common bond between all societies that practice FGM is the lack of education that women are able to obtain within the male-dictated confines of their culture. We were exposed in Kristof’s book to women who supported this type of procedure, almost praising it as a part of female maturation and development in their society. What I constantly came back to, however, was how different these women would view FGM if they knew how dangerous it is to their health and how destructive it is to their voice in society. But this is exactly why boys are the ones to be educated, while women are only to care for the home and family. When education is taken away from a group of people so, too, is countless other freedoms that in these cases include sexual pleasure and regard for health and wellbeing.

  21. Karen Romero says:

    It is extremely sad to see that girls and women are suffering from Female Genital Mutilation and although it is their culture to do such thing, it does not mean that it is right. These pictures alone are horrifying and difficult to get through, I can not imagine how these girls must feel after such painful and traumatic experience. The reason behind why such act is committed is so perverse and immoral. Why should women not have the ability to feel sexual pleasure? These cultures that practice FGM are definitely patriarchal and sexist; FGM is another method used to keep women submissive. To believe that women are the only ones to blame for infidelity is completely ignorant and to mutilate female’s genitalia so that women can be more attentive to their families is ridiculous. FGM is just traumatizing and creating pain for these girls and women, there are no benefits that comes out of these practices. A great issue is that most people do not know about this, therefore there is no action being taken to fight against it. A great disappointment and eye-opener is that the number of this practice is extremely high and will keep increasing if nothing is done.

  22. Doreen Karau says:

    I come from Kenya, a country where FGM is practiced actively.
    In my tribe, the Meru, FGM is practiced. We are lucky, my sisters and I, that our father is educated and understands the harmful effect of the practice.
    A lot is yet to be done for the practice to be seen in its full view as being destructive and of no value to the woman whatsoever.

    Thank you for this blog. It allows more people around the world to talk about this.
    Hopefully, more will join in and action for change.

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