Ban FGM!

I’m glad that an international conference was held recently in Kenya which called for a ban on female genital mutilation.
It’s been about five years since I last studied in law school, but the process is gruesome enough to linger in my mind. My views on some other topics have changed, but I am still strongly against the mutilation of female genitalia.
One form of this ‘circumcision’ (if that lends a tone of religious approval) involves cutting off the labia – the fleshy lips. And that’s actually the least intrusive type. Because other forms of ‘circumcision’ involve snipping off the middle bit as well. I bet many of you are grossed out by now. The wound is then sewn up. Some circumcised females find it difficult to pee. If they want to have children, they obviously have to be unstitched.
Quite often, no painkillers are used during the mutilation.
Together with the lack of proper medical care in the regions which still practice female circumcision, you can imagine the sort of infections these women are subject to. Some have died. The practice, however, has lived on for centuries.
Hopefully not for much longer, you may think. However it is one thing to criminalise it, or at least take away any form of legitimacy given to it. It is quite another thing to change the cultural mindset. As long as women are made to feel more ‘valued’ when they are circumcised, and as long as their husbands and fathers condone it or impose it upon them, the practice will continue.
(More info from WHO, Amnesty International)


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