Cutting female genitalia, without a medical reason, is called Female Genital Mutilation [FGM] and it is rife in Africa, as is child marriage. The two are usually linked. Hidden behind the banner of ‘culture’ FGM and child marriage is really about controlling the sexuality of girls and women. It is a form of ownership and male supremacy.
There are four types of FGM (see post) and the cutting can happen from birth or any age onward. They cut babies. In some places, FGM is undertaken on the mother during labour. The cultural practice of FGM it would seem is a threat at every stage in a female life. Similarly, there is not a safe place as FGM is also a problem in the UK and the USA.
FGM prevailing narrative is that it makes a girl into a woman. It bestows honour and respect. Unsurprisingly, girls welcome the idea of FGM. They sell the girls a dream. The challenges and pain, come after if the girl does not die in the FGM process. FGM is mentally and physically harmful and the interview below provides full details. FGM and child marriage are always an abuse of human rights.
I spoke with Naana Otoo-Oyortey MBE from FORWARD1, a leading women’s campaign and support organisation, about FGM and the problems affecting African women and children. It was most rewarding and you can listen to our interview below. In some areas, the truth is painful to hear but that is not a reason we should not listen. FORWARD is a self-funding organisation doing remarkable work for women and girls. I know that any donations would be appreciated. Donate here.
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