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FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION BANNED IN NIGERIA! THE FIGHT STILL GOES ON ELSEWHERE

“In The Gambia they will cut you with a razor blade like this and use the blood coming out to seal the labia.” REUTERS/James Akena

 

Female-circumcision-360x216

Warning This Story and Content Is Disturbing.

It is known that the clitoris is removed with a razor, no anesthetic, the labia may also be sewn up, a trauma which I can only imagine leaves a deep psychological scar, alongside the physical and emotional ones. Memories of being held down, legs wide open by those who you thought were there to love and protect you from such abuse and brutality.

As women it is important that we educate ourselves to this atrocity that still happens today.  FMG is a violation of girls and women’s rights effecting over 125 million alive today in 29 countries.  FGM starts as early at 9 months and there are no health benefits other than these cultural beliefs passed down for generations…

to keep “clean”; to “purify the genitals and bestow gender identity”; to “control women’s sexual urges”; because women can only be beautiful if chaste; to help them not be “as wild”;  to make them “more beautiful in the eyes of their husband”; or to make the latter “more excited in bed”

The extended complications from FGM include problems urinating, urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, clitoral abscess, infertility, complications in childbirth and mental health problems.  This illustration below diagrams what is removed.

3-types-of-fgm
Illustration shows 3 types of FGM.  The green represents the sections of the vagina that are removed, with Type III being the most severe. Image: https://pub209healthcultureandsociety.wikispaces.com

  The clitoridectomy (Type I, removal of the clitoris). The excision (Type II, removal of the clitoris and labia minora, with or without removal of the labia majora). Infibulation (Type III) in pic below.

VICTAM OF FGM BEFORE GOING INTO SURGERY TO CORRECT PROBLEM
Infibulation (Type III) is the means through which the clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora are all removed or rearranged in order to create a seal that narrows the vaginal opening. The opening left is tiny, allowing urine and menstrual blood to be expelled a drop or so at a time, as seen in a grown woman here.

FGM survivor, Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian-born model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer, and actress. Forbes identified her the eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world in 2007, and she has appeared three times on the cover of U.S. Vogue.

Image: @liyakebede Instagram
Supermodel Liya Kebede Image: @liyakebede Instagram

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Kebede takes on the real-life role of model-turned-activist Waris Dirie in her new film, Desert Flower.  Dirie was sold in to marriage as a young girl in Somalia where genital mutilation was a common cultural practice.  WATCH TRAILER BELOW

 

KEY FACTS ABOUT FGM:

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
  • The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
  • Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM is concentrated (1).
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP FGM? GO HERE 

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