What is FGM?
It is a female genital mutilation that is illegal and cruel clinical operation, but regarded by some communities that practice it, as a girl rite of passage to adulthood.
FGM is a procedure which involves the partial or total removal of the girl’s external genital organs and is reportedly practiced in some developed and developing countries. It is a harmful and dangerous practice, which should be stopped immediately! FGM demeans and robs our beauties’ gem, who are our daughters, sisters, aunties, wives, mistresses and mothers.
FGM is barbaric, uncouth and savage. It should not have any place in modern society. Governments and campaigners should increase their educational campaigns on the hazards. If this does not work, long jail sentences should be an antidote.
A criminal offence.
I-Watch finds it more offensive that some developed countries have implemented laws which mean that FGM is a criminal offence, even with a woman’s consent, not only minor’s but also adult women. As crusaders of women’s’ rights, I-Watch finds this very much as an affront for forcing young girls into the practice. FGM is a human rights issue and the World Health Organization recognizes it as a violation of women and girls’ rights. It infringes on the rights and freedoms of women and children, especially when it is forced on them.
FGM is a barbaric practice that was designed by selfish cultures to deny women sexual pleasure. It’s an act that I-Watch does not agree with it. FGM demeans and robs our beauties’ gem. It’s only fair to ban it globally.
Tradition and a sense of belonging are some of the main reasons named by supporters as reasons to continue the practice, who prefer to call it female genital cutting or female circumcision. It is the belief of some communities that if FGM is not performed on a woman, she could become promiscuous when she becomes an adult. Hence, the partial removal of the clitoris.
In some communities where the practice is still rampant, women and men support the practice and view it as a necessary rite. The women demand it as it makes them acceptable and more marriageable. The women see it as a source of honour and transition which they have to undergo as they mature into adulthood. In these communities where the rite is practiced, the uninitiated are not respected. They are regarded as “children” for as long as they do not go through the rite. In earlier days, the girl being courted for marriage would be circumcised once the prospective groom has declared his interest in the girl.
The argument that uncircumcised girls cannot mature mentally and physically is a fallacy. Maturity comes naturally whether a girl is circumcised or not.
Outdated cruel rite of passage operation.
During the operation, the girl undergoing the rite has to sit astride so that her genitals are exposed to the circumciser. A caretaker then sits behind the girl and entangles her legs with those of the girl from inside of the thighs and shins in a vicious grip that ensures the girl cannot disengage. After the operation, the girls are secluded during the healing period. Just like in male circumcision, the seclusion is a school during which the girls are advised on their wifely and motherly duties and obligations. The practice is a cultural rite that ushers the girl from childhood to adulthood, hence the teaching on adulthood roles.
Natural desire check valve.
Practitioners of FGM aim at curbing women’s sexuality by blunting their natural desire, sexual satisfaction and feelings. It is also a form of birth control as it ensures abstinence till marriage. Circumcised girls, unlike their uncircumcised counterparts are regarded as being clean. The explanation for this is that since the clitoris, labia majora and labia minora have been removed there is no accumulation of smegma that forms from women’s natural discharge from the vagina. Those who practice FGM argue that uncircumcised girls are dirty and stink due to the natural discharge from their genitals. However, this really depends on individual personal hygiene. All communities that practice FGM believe circumcision prevents prostitution. They believe that uncircumcised girls are promiscuous. However, promiscuity is not dependent on whether a girl is circumcised or not. It boils down to the individual woman’s character. Whether a woman is faithful to her husband or not is a question of morality. Some circumcised women have been involved in infidelity. Circumcision is, therefore, not a panacea to immorality nor a woman natural desire check valve.
I-Watch disagrees with any community that glorifies and carries out this archaic and barbaric practice. What annoys us more as fighters of FGM is the way our girls in some communities glorify this culture, saying that if they do not undertake it, they are not women enough. This thing should be banned for it is a major cause of many deaths among our young ladies.
Anti-FGM campaigners argue there are significant health hazards, such as severe pain, shock, hemorrhage, infection, urine retention and ulceration of the genital area.
That this practice exists in today’s society is shocking. As crusaders for women rights, I-Watch unequivocally is opposed to it. Why is it that it is fine for a man to derive pleasure from sex inside and outside of a marriage but not a woman? It is not the same as male circumcision – it denies women the right to choose what is good for themselves, through exclusion if the girl refuses and through the actual act or removing the clitoris. Thirdly, as to the point that is part of culture. Every day, we discard and remove parts of culture that are not conducive to our lives, so why is this different?
I-Watch is strongly opposed to FGM. It is an age-old tradition of selfish men forcing their will on women. It is time people of all walks of life, woke up and recognized women have the right to be their own person. Even if a woman becomes promiscuous, so what? What gives you the right to mutilate her? Because you want her to live the way you think is right? Sex education, rather than destroying a girl’s life, is the way forward.
In order to eliminate the practice, there is need for concerted efforts to advocate against the practice with a stress on its harmful effects by supporting programs and activities aimed at eradicating FGM. The girl child should be educated with a view to liberating her and sensitizing her on her rights and the dangers of FGM. Parents should be discouraged from the practice through Information, Education and Communication (IEC). Support should be given to girls who refuse to undergo the rite. This can be done through offering them shelter and protection. The girls should be encouraged not to succumb to peer pressure because FGM demeans and robs our beauties’ gem.