The Horrific Truth Behind Female Genital Mutilation

The Horrific Truth Behind Female Genital Mutilation

As women, we have faced enough discrimination already. Be it in our own households by our parents, at the hands of our bosses or by the society at large. We have always been looked down upon as the weaker gender. One such terrific example is that of FGM, commonly known as female genital mutilation, which refers to the practice of the removal of some or all of the external female genitalia.

The most horrific part of this ritual is that it is carried out using a blade, and sometimes no anesthesia is provided to the woman.  Although, it is banned in countries like the UK, however, about 27 African countries, Yemen and Iraqi Kurdistan still practice this activity. Girls who are as young as the age of five, have become a victim of this brutal activity.

The people who practice FGM have absurd reasons and justifications to prove its validity. They ignore the harsh health consequences that FGM can result in, such as recurrent infections, chronic pain, cysts, an inability to get pregnant, fatal bleeding and complications during childbirth. They guard this practice by stating that it is done to control a woman’s libido, which in turn is a violation of  human right as well as another form of gender inequality.

We all have equal rights which gives us the freedom to decide as to when is the right time to engage in sex.  Then why do such methods need to be adopted to maintain our virgin status before we get married ? Has anyone done the same to men? Has anyone ever questioned if a man is a virgin or not before getting married to him ? The answer is a big NO. We do not demand that such a dreadful practice should be conducted over men too. What we want rather is a total abolishment of it, because practicing FGM, not only takes away our human rights but also leaves us with unbearable pain and harsh health conditions.

What is even more shocking is that it is the women community which carries out this practice extensively, live in the fear of not having their daughter to go through FGM. But then it might be socially unacceptable. Living in a world which is fighting for gender equality each passing day,  if we believe that we have control over a woman’s sexuality and virginity, then we are gravely wrong and profoundly doing injustice to the community.

Although, FGM has been barred from being conducted in several countries, the ignorant and poor implementation of  laws have made it easier for it to be carried out even in the banned countries. As per the United Nations General Assembly, conducting FGM is a human rights violation. It can lead to serious health as well as mental trauma upon the woman who is made to go under the blade. Also, the use of a common blade can result in the spreading of diseases like HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The brutality of this method doesn’t end after it has been completed. It goes on in the form of painful periods, pain while urinating  and could even result in death in certain cases. So just because you fear what the society has to say about your daughter’s virginity at the time of her marriage, you not only decide to put her through excruciating pain but also fail to realise the fact that it can have a lifelong impact .

The WHO estimated in 2006 that an additional 10-20 babies die per 1,000 deliveries.

As of 2014, 133 million women were thought to be living with FGM , but if the rate continues , this figure will become as large as 196 million by 2050 because of rising population. Post FGM, a girl’s death is sometimes blamed on evil spirits which is only a repercussion of going through this deadly procedure.  It’s high time that this practice be banned completely and there should be strict punishment for those who practice it.


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