January 27, 2009

Female Genital Mutilation

This practice is performed in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania etc.

FGM is carried out with knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass or razor blades. Anaesthetics and antiseptics are not generally used.

The FGM instruments

Types of FGM :

Type 1: Sunna circumcision in which the prepuce (the clitoral covering) is removed, along with part or all of the clitoris. This is called Clitoridectomy, Sunna, meaning removal of the clitoris in the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed. It is called "Sunna Kashfa" (Open Sunna) in Sudan. This is found most commonly in West African countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal.

Type 2: Excision: The entire clitoris and prepuce are removed, along with all or part of the labia minora. This is called "Sunna Magatia" (Closed Sunna) in Sudan. It is most commonly found in Burkina Faso and Sudan

Type 3: Infibulation (a.k.a. Pharaonic circumcision. This involves removal of the clitoris and prepuce, followed by sewing up of the vulva. A small opening is left to allow urine and menstrual blood to pass.

Why? to prevent women's promiscuity by reducing sex urge -.-'

A report from an eyewitness in Somalia:

"The child, completely naked, is made to sit on a low stool. Several women take hold of her and open her legs wide. After separating her outer and inner lips, the operator, usually a woman experienced in this procedure, sits down facing the child. With her kitchen knife the operator first pierces and slices open the hood of the clitoris. Then she begins to cut it out. While another woman wipes off the blood with a rag, the operator digs with her sharp fingernail a hole the length of the clitoris to detach and pull out the organ. The little girl, held down by the women helpers, screams in extreme pain; but no one pays the slightest attention.The operator finishes this job by entirely pulling out the clitoris, cutting it to the bone with her knife. Her helpers again wipe off the spurting blood with a rag. The operator then removes the remaining flesh, digging with her finger to remove any remnant of the clitoris among the flowing blood. The neighbor women are then invited to plunge their fingers into the bloody hole to verify that every piece of the clitoris is removed."

Afterwards the girl's leg will be tied together until the wound healed, which can take months.

As we can see from the photo here, the infibulation (FGM type 3) leaves an opening big enough only for urine and menstruation flow. The woman will be cut open by the husband on the wedding night using his fingernails or a dagger. She may be sewn up again, if the husband leaves on a long trip.

Warning! video with graphic content.

Petition against FGM:

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