The International Day of Zero Intolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a procedure carried out on girls and women that consists of the altering/removal of female genitalia. It is traditionally used to prepare a female for marriage and is viewed as a ‘rite of passage’ for young girls entering womanhood. But womanhood should not begin, or represent, this dark and sadistic method that permanently damages female’s genitalia, which can include the removal of the clitoris, inner labia, and a seal created over the vaginal opening. It represents a great gender inequality where females are violated for the sanctity of traditionalist views due to marriage prospects or family status.
The procedure can lead to infection, cysts, abnormal periods, infertility, problems during childbirth and often death in the case of unsafe practice. As well as the physical damage, it leaves a great deal of psychological and emotional harm, which can include PTSD, anxiety and depression. It is carried out mostly on girls between infancy and the age of 15, often before puberty, preparing young girls for their future husbands and a path that restricts their rights to sexual freedom and identity. By ensuring young girls are circumcised, their husbands can be assured that they are virginal, and they are often viewed as ‘unclean’ had they not undergone the procedure. Females are stripped of their sexual freedom due to the pain experienced during intercourse due to scarring, as well as the physical barrier that restricts the female with type 3 of FGM including the sealing of the vaginal opening. The overall oppressive nature revolves around the idea of the male essentially taking control of the female’s own sexuality.
It is currently practiced in 29 countries across Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and it is estimated that over 200 million girls and women that are alive today have been subjected to the procedure. There are no health benefits; only harm, trauma and physical & emotional damage. FGM is an incredibly evil and discriminating practice that goes against all human rights for females, and on the International Day of Zero Intolerance for Female Genital Mutilation we must stand up for all young girls and women who are at risk; to give them a future free from the pain and scars that it carries.