Sunday, 29 April 2007

Female Genital Mutilation aka FGM

One of the novels I teach on my lit course is called Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. It raises awareness about FGM, or female genital mutilation, a practice which involves the cutting away of the external genitalia to varying degrees. The most serious is infibulation which involves the removal of the labia (inner and outer), the clitoris (including internal tissues which are scraped out), and the sewing up of the wound to leave a hole the size of a match head. It is a practice that serves only to control women by eradicating their sexuality. In the best cases there is life long discomfort, but in the worst, life long agonising pain, infection and even death. The World Health Organisation has information here.

Convinced already? Please sign the petition sponsored by CARE. It takes a few seconds and the more voices are heard the more people might listen. It's better than ignoring it and doing nothing.

Not convinced yet? Want more information?

There are two sides to every argument, so here are some of the reasons given by practitioners of FGM, and those who seek to preserve the practice. Read the article at Women Aid. And see how change is coming, how women are beginning to see the damage the practice causes here.

Here are some videos, found by my students who did an excellent presentation on Walker's novel. They give both sides of the argument so now, you can decide for yourself. The material is suitable for viewing though is upsetting.







Thank you for reading. In case you missed it - please sign the petition sponsored by CARE. It takes a few seconds and the more voices are heard the more people might listen. It's better than ignoring it and doing nothing.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't bring myself to watch the clips, I'm afraid,but have siged the petition. The very concept of FGM is too repellant for words.

hesitant scribe said...

Thank you anonymous - every voice matters.

Out of interest, one of the first activists was the writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o (The River Between) in 1955. Since then, organisations aiming to raise awareness and instigate change have become more wide spread.

liz fenwick said...

Done. My stomach is turning.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I've signed. Thanks for flagging this.

Hera said...

Thank you so much for this post.

hesitant scribe said...

Hera - you are most welcome! My students have been passing on the petition address to their friends also, so little by little our voices are growing louder!