Tis the Season…for Cutting Girls

5 12 2008

This is not a joyful time of year for girls in Kenya. It’s the cutting season.  Girls 10 years old or younger have their clitoris and sometimes their labia removed so they will be “clean” and to prepare them for marriage. This process is called Female Genital Cutting (FGC) or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

This barbaric practice, considered a human rights violation by the United Nations, is done to girls as young as two years old with no anesthesia and a razor blade, knife, or even broken glass. Besides the initial severe pain, girls often experience lifelong problems and effects such as shock, excessive bleeding, infection, infertility, higher death rate for newborn babies, and even death.

The World Health Organization estimates that 100 – 140 million women and girls have experienced FGC. 2-3 million more are at risk every year, mostly in 28 countries in Africa, some Middle Eastern countries, some ethnic groups in South America, and Indonesia. FGC is a long-practiced custom and it is difficult to convince women to stop having it done to their daughters or granddaughters. In places where it is common, girls who are not cut are often ostracized.

The country where FGM is most prevalent is Egypt, with 78-97% having experienced it, followed by Sudan, Ethiopia, and Mali. Egypt passed a law banning FGM in 2007, as have many other countries. The U.S. passed a federal law banning FGM in 1996.

February 6, 2008 marked the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) fifth International Day against Female Genital Mutilation.  The UN has launched a multi-million dollar program to reduce the practice by 40% over the next seven years.

This video features some village women in Lunsar, Sierra Leone talking about the practice of cutting. Amongst their many startling (to our way of thinking) assertions is that if a girl bleeds excessively from being cut, it means that she is a witch.

Many girls in Kenya have recently fled to churches or rescue centers to wait out the November to December cutting season and escape forced genital mutilation. At this time of joy and celebration, if you’d like to do something to help protect the rights of these girls and women all over the world, consider making a donation to Americans for UNFPA.

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5 responses

5 12 2008
chamay0

You are bringing the pain. This is something that most of us Americans know about and hate but as quickly as we can we put it in the back of our minds. We shouldn’t and you are right to remind us.

If America wants to be a force again then we have to once again become participants in the world’s tragedy and remember that we do stand for freedom and equality.

Okay, you are making me giddy that you visited my web site and now you are turning me on to some wonderful reminders and truths. What can I say 4 out of 4 stars again (yes I will stop saying that soon, too much will make you spoiled — smile). I’m going to read a few more of your articles over the week end and if it’s alright with you I would love to spot light one of your post and brilliance on my web site. You are fantastic.

8 12 2008
ggita32

Thank you so much for your time spent in bringing the truth out about this atrocity. I have just spent some time reading over your site. It is very educational and enlightening to me. I have stopped in from a link at Chamayo’s Weblog. I hope you will continue with this very worth while blog…..a definite contribution to the healing and peace in this world.

Tom

15 12 2008
douglaskev

disgusting practice. perhaps more disgusting is the following:

I read about a case where one of these women applied for amnesty in the USA on the grounds that she feared further genital mutilation. The judge denied amnesty. The reasoning: They can’t cut the clitoris off again…

17 12 2008
ggita32

douglaskev, Isn’t the court system a bunch of crap. Lawyers and judges run around with there heads in the sand. The US has some dues to pay for it’s sick indifference to serious and deploring humanitarian issues in Africa and else where. I might add, your site is very interesting…..

25 04 2009
bikerbernie

It is ALWAYS the Season for Cutting Boys

I do not understand the concern with just females anywhere when we are still doing this to males all over the world.

What is the big deal 130 million females worldwide that have had FMG there are almost that many males in America that have suffered the same fate and 975 Million world wide?!?! Kinda puts FGM even further back than the back burner.

Check this out.

http://bikerbernie.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/fgm-mgm-it-is-all-circumcision/

b

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