Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation – a day when we raise global awareness about this issue and reaffirm our strong commitment to eradicating this extremely harmful practice that violates the rights of girls and women to physical and mental integrity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year, millions of women and girls in the EU and around the world are subjected to the brutal practice of female genital mutilation and many more are at risk. Ref:Union Européenne
This is a topic that isn’t foreign to me and it’s one that continues to be a major issue in some parts of my native Ivory Coast, to an extend I didn’t fully realized until I listened to RFI –Priorite Sante (broadcasted entirely in French) on the F.G.M issue. One male caller insisted on its social benefits, he couldn’t understand why so many are against it and vowed to keep the practice alive in his own daughters. As a woman, and especially as an African woman, who has friends who have been subjected to F.G.M, I was appalled.
Female Genital Mutilation is an archaic practice that has no social benefits none whatsoever, rather it’s a practice that thrives on social and psychological control. The idea to maintain this practice out of some misguided sense of tradition is simply wrong. The excised woman will physically heal but the psychological effects reach deeper than any of us can comprehend. It is quite apparent that there is a lot of ignorance surrounding this subject.
Consider this my small contribution on such a monumental day, for anyone who has the slightest interest at uncovering what is at the core of this issue and all its complexities, should read :’Female Genital Mutilation: Legal, Cultural And Medical Issues. by Rosemarie Skaine’. It is a wonderful resource that depicts both sides of the argument.“I’ve used it for school projects and I should warn that it is a bit textbookish, however it gets the point across.”