Female Genital Mutilation.


Today, we mark the celebration of a cause that has affected so many girls, teens and ladies alike. It the International day of Zero Tolerance for FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM)

FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

FGM has caused enough havoc among us for so long and yes it is still happening!!!. Just before we talk about other things, What is FGM?

According to WHO, FGM also known as Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is defined to be all procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia and/or injury to the female genital organs, whether for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reasons. The parts of the genital involved are the clitoris,surrounding tissue and glands. It is commonly practiced in Asia and Africa and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women..

The statistics for Nigeria has declined over the years but still quite dominant in our rural areas. Nigeria, due to its large population, has the highest absolute number of female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide, accounting for about one-quarter (1/4) of the estimated 115–130 million circumcised women in the world😭😭. As much as we have so many local and international bodies kicking against this, such as WHO, Africa Union,UNESCO and a lot more,Nigeria has no federal law in place against FGM…….What a shame?

photo credit: istock

FGM is mostly done by traditionalists and old women,there are several types and methods which all create a big harm to the girl child. There is no advantages of this menace rather, it constitutes fatal harm to the girl child and ladies on the long run.

Some of the damaging effects of FGM on the total well-being of the girl child;

  • Urinary problems (painful urination, urinary tract infections);
  • Vaginal problems (discharge, itching, bacterial vaginosis and other infections);
  • Menstrual problems (painful menstruation, difficulty in passing menstrual blood, etc.);
  •  Scar tissue and keloid;
  • Sexual problems (pain during intercourse, decreased satisfaction, etc.);
  •  Increased risk of childbirth complications (difficult delivery, excessive bleeding, Cesarean section, need to resuscitate the baby, etc.) and newborn deaths;
  • Need for later surgeries: for example, the FGM procedure that seals or narrows a vaginal opening (type 3) needs to be cut open later to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth (defibrillation). Sometimes, genital tissue is stitched again several times, including after childbirth, hence the woman goes through repeated opening and closing procedures, further increasing both immediate and long-term risks;
  • Psychological problems (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem, etc.);
  • Infections
  • Severe pain
  • Shock
  • Death
  • Poor sexual drive
  • Inflammation
  • Fever
  • Bleeding
  • Injury to surrounding tissues
  • Transmission of diseases
  • Endometritis
    And many more.

This practice is believed to help reduce promiscuity in the girl child which is nothing but a myth. The practice is rooted in gender inequality, attempts to control women’s sexuality, and ideas about purity, modesty and beauty. It is usually initiated and carried out by women, who see it as a source of honor and fear that failing to have their daughters and granddaughters cut will expose the girls to social exclusion.

Enough of this!!!! Together let us say no to this biased and unreasonable practice. The girl child is worth much more. She should be left to blossom and grow into the woman of her choice.

Young lady,if you are reading this, you need to stand and take a pledge against this practice. Join your voice with million of other voices to say NO TO FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION. Every opportunity you have, make use of it to educate others. Together we stand🤝

 

Photo credit: Heinrich Boll stiftung

Key Facts by United Nations

  • Globally, it is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.
  • Girls 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut, with the highest prevalence of FGM among this age in Mali at 73 per cent, Gambia at 56 per cent, Mauritania 54 per cent and Indonesia at 49 per cent.
  • Countries with the highest prevalence among girls and women aged 15 to 49 are Somalia at 98 per cent, Guinea at 97 per cent, Djibouti 93 per cent and Egypt at 87 per cent.
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 calls for an end to FGM by 2030 under Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Target 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • The elimination of FGM has been called for by numerous inter-governmental organizations, including the African Union, the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as in three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.