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A Woman's Story of Female Genital Mutilation
HEALTH

A Woman’s Story on Female Genital Mutilation

4 min read
A Woman’s Story on Female Genital Mutilation

A young African Australian woman was given a frightening insight into the world of traditional Female Genital Circumcision, describing it as a painful experience that has tormented her later in life.

Female Genital Circumcision, also referred to as Female Genital Mutilation, is such a brutal procedure.

It is the process of partially or totally removing the clitoris and or the labia (“the lips” that surround the vagina) or narrowing of the vaginal opening.

It is predominately carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15 and is in some cultures considered a necessary part of raising a girl properly or preparing her for adulthood and marriage.

In the jaw-dropping interview with the ABC RN Drive program, former African woman Khadija Gbla, told how she was a victim of female genital mutilation and how it has affected her life.

She said at nine years of age her mother told her they were going to visit a family member in a nearby town.

Here she was held down by her mother and an old lady and mutilated with a blunt, rusted knife.

What is frightening is that in her own reflection, although the experience was painful, what had happened to her was considered normal and positive “” a rite of passage into womanhood.

“It was celebrated. And we were told something beautiful had happened to us. We had come of age, you know?

A woman shouldn’t have a clitoris; it’s stinky, it is smelly, it gets in the way of things, it’s going to make you want to jump every man you see, you’re not going to be able to stay as a virgin until you get married.”

After migrating to Australia Ms Gbla was tormented by the media’s positive focus on the clitoris in all the women’s magazines.

She began to feel angry and her trauma began to affect her interaction with her family and her community especially her mother.

“I said to her, on the one hand I forgive her because she was ignorant of what she was doing; on the other hand, this stops at my generation.

‘Whether she likes it or not, I am not going to continue the practice and have become very outspoken about the issue since I was 13.”

The Story Of Why They Cut Off Her Clitoris | Stay At Home Mum
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Female Circumcision

This horrific procedure has absolutely no health benefits for girls and women, yet it is estimated that an astonishing 140 million women and girls around the world have been subjected by this procedure.

It is classified into four major types.

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris.
  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia (“the lips” that surround the vagina).
  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
  • Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

These procedures can cause severe bleeding, problems urinating, and later; cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth with increased risk of newborn deaths.

The procedure may take place in a hospital, but are usually performed without anaesthesia by a traditional circumciser using a knife, razor or scissors.

The practice is rooted in gender inequality, cultural identity, ideas about purity, modesty, aesthetics, status and honour, and attempts to control women’s sexuality by reducing their sexual desire, thereby promoting chastity and fidelity.

In communities that practice it, it is typically supported by both women and men.

In December 2012, the UN General Assembly accepted a resolution on the elimination of female genital mutilation. Research shows that, if practising communities themselves decide to abandon FGM, the practice can be eliminated very rapidly.

Sources: “Female genital mutilation” World Health Organisation Feb 2013, www.abc.net.au

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Kate Carlile

Kate brings sexy back to the office as our Administration Manager and all-round most loveliest lady in the world. She is super Mum to four and the SAH...Read MoreM office would literally fall apart without her. Her dream is to colour the world purple whilst travelling around it in a lavender Winnebago! Read Less

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