The number of mutilated woman and girls in Africa and the Middle East is increasing due to population growth, according to Win News. But internationally financed population, health and safe motherhood programs ignore Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and have failed to implement effective preventive education. Education should be provided to the woman and men in the participating countries so the risks of this mutilation can be understood fully.
FGM is painful, dangerous, and disrespectful to the woman/child and her body and I belive evry woman has the right to education to help make this critical decision. The mutilation most often performed is Clitoridectomy or Excision- cutting off without anesthetic, the clitoris and most of the external genitalia. This is practiced in a broad area from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Coast. The most dangerous operation, Infibulation is customary in Sudan, Somalia, N. Kenya,, W. Africa and all along the Red Sea coast.
After the clitoris is excised and all external genitalia are carved away, the bleeding raw edges of the libia majora are held together by thorns or other fasting devices, until a scar forms to close the entrance to the vagina. The legs of the little girl are tied together for several weeks until the wound heals; a tiny opening is created by inserting a splinter of wood to allow urination. Thus virginity, which is considered especially important by Moslem men, can be proven.
These dangerous operations result in permanent damage: hemorrhage and shock, which may be fatal; many infections including tetanus, scaring which obstructs normal childbirth and may result in the death of both mother and child; infertility due to infection. And that’s not all, FGM causes urinary and menstrual problems, frigidity, painful intercourse, and many, many needless deaths. The highest childbirth mortality is recorded in areas where FGM is practiced. Some may argue that this is their culture, we cannot judge, or interfere, and I agree.
I do not feel that these are bad people, and I do not think we should outlaw this practice. I know that this is a way of life to them. But the decision is not being made by a educated adult. The operations are being performed on children only a few days old up to puberty. These children do not realize that their life could be at stake just so their future husband will be satisfied. They live a life of pain for the mans happiness. FGM is desecrating the woman’s body and ultimately her soul.