ENDING THE FGM ERA
Female genital mutilation is a mostly traditional initiation practice which involves cutting, or sealing and unsealing of female genitalia with the intention of instilling values of fidelity and sexual purity in young girls when they reach puberty(and all women in that particular community at large). More than 200 million women alive today have experienced FGM. FGM is also sometimes known as “female circumcision” although this terminology is highly disregarded because it seems to normalize the practice and overshadow its extremely hazardous nature, and putting it side to side in comparison with male circumcision which is more acceptable and a rather safer practice with health benefits. The tools used in the FGM procedure include; special knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass, razorblades, etc.
The real origin/source of FGM is unknown but it was largely practices in ancient traditional societies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The reasons for the procedure are both based on culture, religion and societal beliefs, for instance;
-it is believed that women who undergo this procedure are cleaner and more beautiful
with the removal of sensitive parts of their genitalia, these women’s libido is decreased hence lesser chances of pre-marital or extra-marital sex.
– with the procedure being insufferably painful, it is intended to instill fear in girls urging them to keep their virginity.
-the practice is carried for societal acceptance into full womanhood.
All things considered, are the above reasons valid enough to victimize girls by subjecting them to the compulsion of “the cut”?
There are four main known types of female genital mutilation; clitoridectomy, excision, infibulation.
Type 1-Clitoridectomy: This involves partial or complete removal of the clitoris. The clitoris is the most sensitive erogenous zone of a woman’s genitalia hence this practice is aimed at reducing a woman’s libido to keep her faithful.
Type 2-Excision: This involves partial or complete removal of the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora.
Type 3-Infibulation: This involves narrowing of the vaginal opening to create a seal. Additional procedures like cutting and repositioning both inner and outer labia, scraping, incising, pricking and piercing of the woman’s genitalia.
Type 4- refers to all other practices that involve mutilation of female genitalia in general with the above the types inclusive.
If you’re familiar with female genitalia, especially if you’re a woman yourself, you might already have felt shivers at the mere thought or imagination of razors and scissors being used on you in such a manner. Every year girls die from bleeding to death while undergoing these procedures, and those that survive suffer the lifelong side effects which include; cysts, infertility, complications during child birth, urinary problems, permanent damage to the genital tissue, et cetera.
In spite of the fact that majority of people in our now contemporary society are against and do not support FGM, The fight against FGM is far from over! 4 out of 5 circumcisions are performed by a traditional healer, and the other 1 is performed by a medical professional. The fact that FGM is performed surgically poses a large threat for the pledge and fight to wipe out the practice completely.
In a nutshell, it is going to take a lot more collective effort to bring an end to this act of inhumanity. Let’s all take the initiative to learn more about this practice, understand the danger it poses and just how much of a violation it is to the rights of those who undergo it, and that way, we can all raise arms to end the “FGM era” in mutual belief that no girl deserves to go through this!
BY LEON INKSMITTEN