I am sure many people understand the meaning right when they read the title “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM) which is also known as female genital cutting or more commonly circumcision. Female genitals are partially or wholly removed during this procedure and it is illegal in many countries all over the world.

I was rather surprised to learn more about this tradition; it is more of a ritual and not at all related to any medical cures/treatment. Why would a female be forced into do so when it is us, females, who are provided with a natural gift of childbirth? It is a clear violation of human rights and still it is prevalent in around 27 countries especially in Africa, Asia and Middle East.

As per WHO, this procedure is carried out on females between the ages of infancy to 15 years. But, it is mostly common for women to experience mutilation between 15-49. They face severe bleeding which might even lead to on-spot death. As per CNN, just 2 days ago, an Egyptian teenager lost her life during this illegal activity of mutilation. She was just 17, I believe she had dreamt of a successful career, a man/woman who would love her unconditionally, and her children, who would grow up to be just like her. Although FGM has been counted illegal in Egypt since 2008, people strongly believe and follow the ritual.

The worst part is that there is no such religious or health reasons to conduct this act.

What are the reasons behind it?

Well, it is the elderly women themselves who force upon their upcoming generations. Anthropologist Rose Oldfield Hayes has proved this in 1975 stating that even if educated men from Sudan would discourage and refute the procedure, the women would themselves conduct it without anyone’s prior approval.

It is an obvious fact that this ritual is majorly performed where there is immense lack in reach of information. Mothers feel that it is their obligation for their children to be cut and that if not done, they would be not be counted as a part of the society. This fear, which exists within the community, has hampered the lives of young girls. Then there comes “Religion”. People are so indulged with their religious beliefs that it overcomes any other aspect of reality. Citizens of countries like Mali, Egypt; Guinea is overshadowed with the false belief that it bestows upon the religious sentiments. FMG is neither mentioned nor included in any of the religious texts. 

Ever thought what happens to the girls after they go through mutilation?

They go through serious physical and mental trauma, which would haunt them for as long as it can. For some, this mutilation is performed yearly on a partial basis. This is just not done! Women already face more than required discriminations, hatred and tortures. Among all, this adds up to the top of the list.

 I believe and live upon with the positivity of “Change starts with one”. Any person’s viewpoint and belief can be changed if it is for the benefit of their own. Efforts need to be put upon to make it possible for the citizens to be informed and persuaded as to how harmful this tradition is. Neither it provides any benefit to the females nor to the family or society as a whole.

Why are people still practicing this when it has been declared as an illegal act against humanity? It is because, they don’t know about it and second, they aren’t afraid to do so. Government needs to authorize strict punishments, which would scare them to death to even think about it.

A short animated story published by Women's Support project along with the Scottish Government which projects the life of Sara, a victim of FGM.

I hope we all will be able to contribute to eradicate this major issue prevalent in various parts of the globe. As change starts with one, we can at least spread the message and give it a try to make a difference.

This video projects FGM in India and also provides the experiences of women who went through FGM. (Published by Hindustan Times, Reporter: Harinder Baweja)


Writer: Trisha Dahal 
Follow me on Google+ : Google+ Trisha , Lifestyle for Today


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