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Female Genital Mutilation

A Brutal and Senseless Human Rights Violation

The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of the most sickening and deplorable crimes against humanity. There is nothing good to say about it. It's part of a culture that's based on controlling women and their sexuality.

FGM

Female genital mutilation happens to about 6000 women and girls... per day! In this picture an adolescent woman shows her recently mutilated vagina. The pubic hair was removed to reveal the extent of the damage. Her clitoris and inner labia were cut off with a piece of glass, leaving her scarred and sexless for life. The people responsible for this decided not to hack off her labia majora. I guess they were in a good mood that day...

The procedure is simple: When a girl reaches a certain age she is captured and gagged. Then they force her legs open and use scissors, the lid of a can, or even broken glass to cut off her inner and outer labia and her clit. They usually sew the bloody edges of her vagina together, effectively shutting her vagina closed. It is only to be opened again — with a knife — when her future husband decides to have sex with her. When the procedure is over, the people in the village throw a party to celebrate their cowardly act, while the bleeding victim lays in a corner, silently crying...

Type IV Female Genital Mutilation

The healed genitals of a 20-something Sudanese FGM survivor. In her youth she was a victim of a Type III mutilation (infibulation). All structures of the external genitals were sliced off and the remains of her outer labia were sewn together. Only a tiny opening is left at the bottom to allow her to urinate.

Why do they do it? Well, they say a woman's labia and clit are 'unclean'. As long as she is uncut she is considered unmarriageable. Obviously it's done to keep a woman from having sexual pleasure, and men believe it will keep her faithful. Anyway, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about this. It's the genital equivalent of cutting off her tongue, lips and nose. It leaves her physically deformed, without the ability to enjoy or 'taste' sexual sensations.

So Let's Eradicate It

You and I can help stop female genital mutilation. But what organization should we support? Amnesty International? Unicef? They do some great work but are not specialized in this. EqualityNow.org used to be heavily involved in the fight against FGM but nowadays the organization seems to focus more on other women's rights issues.

Luckily there is the Desert Flower Foundation, which focuses purely on ending the crime of FMG. It was started by Somali model Waris Dirie who herself was a victim of female genital mutilation. Any donations are welcome: Donate to end FGM

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