Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). We, in Defend International, reiterate our call for an end to this harmful practice.
Appeal to End FGM Now
By Dr. Widad
Writing this post, I can’t help but remember my Sudanese friend at College, who suffered from anemia and couldn’t walk because of FGM. Her complications increased after she got married.
She was one of the over 125 million girls and women in 27 countries whose health has been compromised because of this brutal practice.
WHO defines FGM as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of external female genitalia or injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” The organisation has classified FGM into 4 Types: TypeI- Clitoridectomy, TypeII – Excision, TypeIII – Infibulation, and TypeIV – Other, e.g., stretched labia.
The physical complications of FGM include, but are not limited to, infections, bleeding, transmission of hepatitis or even HIV, urinary infections or urine retention, and in some severe cases of vaginal and pelvic infections FGM may cause infertility.
Aiming to address this problem, we acknowledge that our challenges are complex and deeply rooted in ignorance and the shadows of sacred beliefs. Our hope is that we are on our way to discuss these shadows and to tackle the manifestations of ignorance. We have managed to a certain degree to make the international community recognize FGM as a violation of basic human rights of girls and women. There may be a glimmer of hope for the next generation of crying little girls.
Raise your voice to end FGM! Together we can achieve this goal!
Credit: Prevalence of FGM from UNICEF 2013
Dr. Widad’s website