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Female Genital Mutilation: Three Generations Later

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ccharles000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-11-09 10:32 PM
Original message
Female Genital Mutilation: Three Generations Later
Edited on Sun Oct-11-09 10:40 PM by ccharles000
Esraa Bani is the Advocacy Assistant in the International Advocacy and U.S. Government Relations departments of Population Action International.

A little four year old lay in bed wrapped in blankets. Her teeth were chattering and her body was warm with fever because she lost too much blood. She laid still in her bed as tears rolled down her face. Days passed by without her sleeping or eating because the pain was too much for her frail body to bear.

Seventeen years later on March 14th, 1984 my mother was recalling that experience as she was cut open once again to give birth. She had so much scar tissue that she couldn't deliver naturally, she had to get cut AGAIN with a razor. As she passed out from the pain, she heard a baby cry and women cheering and celebrating. The last thing she heard was "it's a girl!".

It has been forty-two years and my mother still hasn't forgotten the day her parents decided to cut her, or perform Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on her. She almost died giving birth to me because of a tradition that my grandmother was fearful to break. She is not alone. Annually, almost three million girls undergo this procedure because of a variety of reasons but mainly its a ritual of purification. Parents would rather push their little girls to the fringe of life than let go of this sacred ritual. They try to blind little girls to the cruel reality of FGM by having a party and showering them with gold and gifts.

Although my mother's generation took some strides towards the cessation of the tradition, it is still an enormous issue in Sudan. Approximately ninety percent of females in Northern Sudan have undergone FGM. The most prominent types of FGM in Northern Sudan are Types II and III. Ironically, Sudan was the first country in Africa to outlaw the practice, but no one really enforces that law. Today, Sudan has one of the highest rates of FGM. While in most countries the rates are going down, in Sudan due to the war in Darfur, it seems like it's actually spreading and being moved to tribes that never used to practice it.

http://community.feministing.com/2009/10/female-genital...
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-11-09 10:37 PM
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1. Thank you for sharing this painful story with us...
I have always found FGM to be one of the most horrifying things ever done to women. And now you tell us it's spreading, and becoming more prevalent?

Oh god.

I am nearly speechless with outrage at these practices being done in the name of "purifying."

The human body should be celebrated, NOT purified. NOT in this sickening fashion.

K&R

:cry:
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-11-09 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It is terrible what the human mind can force itself to accept.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-11-09 10:42 PM
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3. The scars so many women have to carry because some crazy traditions
It's not just physical mutilation but what some parents to their girls mentally. They put so much on the girls minds and it shows in relationships later in life.

Parents can really screw up their kids and for what?

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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-11-09 10:52 PM
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4. I do literacy tutoring with a young Sudanese woman.
I have no idea whether she's had this done, but the statistical likelihood is that she has. It's obviously not the sort of thing I would feel comfortable asking about.

She also has a six year old daughter who has been in this country most of her life. I wonder if she could possibly be at risk. :(
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 12:53 AM
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5. Thank you for sharing your personal story on this gruesome practice.
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ccharles000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. It is not my story.
I found it on feministing.com
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Sirveri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-12-09 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
7. K & R
All persons should have the right to determine how their body looks, feels, and functions.
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