The awfulness of female circumcision
July 9, 2012 § 1 Comment
A 22-year-old Marwat shakes her head, trying to get rid of terrible memories. Like most of the other Egyptian women, she also experienced all the awfulness of circumcision. According to some data, from 60 to 80% of African women are victims of this practice, which exists since the Pharaohs time. About 6 thousand girls undergo this operation in Africa every day. It is considered to be a part of traditional beliefs and acts of initiation of a girl into a woman. The operation is being done in extremely unsanitary conditions and without any painkillers.
One of the main aims of this manipulation is to reduce sexual desire and maintain a reproductive function, but it is proved that the effect of this operation is quite opposite – girls often become infertile, crippled and unhappy. In addition, according to scientists’ investigations, female circumcision has nothing to do with religion. That became a motto for their advertising campaign.
In nine African countries, female circumcision is already forbidden, but still practiced. For example, about 10 years ago the president of Kenya required to cancel that horrible and dangerous tradition, but nothing was actually changed. Sabaot people believe that uncircumcised women can’t be happy in their marriage, because during childbirth they will have complications. Public organizations claim that in fact the tradition is aimed at the suppression of sexual desire of women and, ultimately, at the enslavement of women by their husbands. Following this example in 2004 in the North African country Mali the organization “Plan International” began a campaign against circumcision of women. The budget of that campaign was about two million dollars.
Since Mali is a predominantly Muslim country, the objective of that program was to explain people the fact that female circumcision has nothing to do with what is written in the Quran and the Sunnah. Al-Hajj Zaidi Drama, the leader of the Malian Muslim organization “Islamic action” claimed that it was not even appropriate to mention culture talking about this thing, to say nothing of religion.
According to Malian legends, Allah doesn’t accept the prayers of the uncircumcised women, moreover they become cursed and bring misfortune to their family.
Let’s take a look at the next country-Somali. Somali girls are to be operated at the age of 3. Lots of girls can’t cope with this pain and die from shock, loss ob blood or infection. Those who are able to survive have to undergo many severe trials in the future,especially after their marriage. It’s hard to imagine that women who came through all the troubles, let their daughters be operated.
Still there are many campaign in African countries, who come out against the ban of circumcision. The members of such movements explain that since the ancient times Africa has been developing its own culture. The West ‘feels’ like a chief of Africa and has been always finding something to be against of and to put on destruction. They say the West destroys the culture of Africa, not paying attention to the fact Africa nurtures all the necessary human values, while the West is hypocritical in its protection of women’s rights.
The members of the movement explain that this practice, in fact, unites African people. This tradition reminds a girl of her ancestors and social responsibility. The members of ban movements mention that Europeans practice such uncivilized things as abortion and homosexuality, which slacken the level of morality and destroy cultural heritage.
Still it’s very likelihood such practice will be partially reduced in several countries. And I want to believe Africa will manage to combine rich cultural background with the kind treatment of their women.