Saturday, December 4, 2010

Please sign the petition

Mutilated for life to be able to milk cows ...

Kind of strange that 20-year olds still allow this. On the other hand there is probably so much pressure from family and village members that they "have no other choice". Here again it is a matter of information, education, fear and ... money! And police vehicles ... .

"Most of the girls were barely in their early twenties but someone in the crowd said they were all married. “Girls here marry by their 15th birthdays,” he said."

"Women who usually do the cutting are complaining that FGM activists promised them compensation for income lost but up to now, nothing has been done.

“We shall continue cutting girls because this is where we get our income. They have also not sensitized us and we do not know what is in the law,” said Sunday Kokop, the surgeon in Suam-sub-county. According to the law, aggravated FGM gets life imprisonment."

"“I am happy I have become a woman by being circumcised. I will be able to do what other cut women do. I will now be able to climb into the granary or milk cows, which I was not allowed to do till now,” Alice Chemutai said."

"The Police chief said he had the names and location of the girls who were to be mutilated on December 2, but they did nothing due to lack of transport."

"But recently, when they arrested three girls in Binyinya, Kween district over FGM, court acquitted them because the girls refused to name the people who mutilated them. They told the magistrate that they mutilated themselves.

When the local surgeon, who had been arrested by police was paraded in court for identification, the girls said they did not know her. The case was dismissed."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Medical Anthropologist Speaks on Abolishing Female Circumcision

I wished I could attend  this event; will buy her book though.

"I will examine the validity of Western arguments against female circumcision," said Gruenbaum, the author of The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective. "In doing so, I will explore both outsider and insider perspectives on the custom, concentrating on the complex attitudes of the individuals and groups who practice it and on indigenous efforts to end it."

In her book, The Female Circumcision Controversy, Gruenbaum points out that Western outrage and Western efforts to stop genital mutilation often provoke a strong backlash from people in the countries where the practice is common.

"The criticisms of outsiders are frequently simplistic and fail to appreciate the diversity of cultural contexts, the complex meanings and the conflicting responses to change," she observed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cultural Relativism

"Another classmate, an Anthropologist, said that it is a woman's right to go to a physician and asked him/her to perform female circumcision, if that is an aspect of her culture she desires. If she does not get it done in the doctor's office, she may go home and have it done in an un-sterile environment with a razor blade. That may be a requirement of her culture... If she is not circumcised, even a little bit, she may not be able to find a husband, be accepted into the circles of adult women, etc. She would get it done no matter what, and it is preferable that it be a tiny cut by a skilled physician than a huge slice by an unskilled hand."

Female genital mutilation persists despite ban in Indonesia

"A lack of regulation since the ban makes it difficult to monitor, but medical practitioners say FGM/C remains commonplace for women of all ages in this emerging democracy of 240 million - the world’s largest Muslim nation.
Although not authorized by the Koran, the practice is growing in popularity."

Friday, August 13, 2010

No anonymity on future web says Google CEO

""True transparency and no anonymity", he says, is the way forward - and there's nothing we can do to prevent it."

Nice perspective.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

As if FGM alone is not enough ...

I was flabbergasted when I was reading about this practice I never ever heard of. As if FGM is not enough, now the young girls have to undergo this (too).
What I do not understand is why it is always the girls that are the victims and have to undergo the mutilations. This practice too is mutilation and should be stopped. I understand the concerns of the mothers and I understand that they want to avoid child preganancy but as far as I know, to make a child, you need two people: a woman and a man. Avoiding (child) pregnancy can be done by using several techniques. It is really time that men start taking responsibility of their own acts and grow up.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

“The Day Kadi Lost Part of her Life"

"What follows is the Prologue for a book I received while in the UK for my training. The book is called “The Day Kadi Lost Part of her Life”. "

Pediatricians Finally Reject All Female Genital Mutilation

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has finally come to its senses. In a previous statement made in April, they went head to head with the 1996 federal law that bans all types of female “circumcision” – or what we more aptly call “female genital mutilation” (FGM). A previous statement suggested that pediatricians should consider “pricking” the clitoris as a way to meet cultural requirements and appease immigrants whose cultures demand that they undergo FGM as a way to help prevent having these girls transported back to Somalia, Ethiopia, or wherever else this practice is condoned. This “clitoral nick” would require a tiny cut in the skin over the clitoris, which the statement compared to getting ears pierced. Now, they have retracted their statement in favor of one that opposes all types of genital cutting in girls."

Uganda bans Female Genital Circumcision

"Anyone convicted of the practice, which involves cutting off a girl’s clitoris, will face 10 years in jail, or a life sentence if a victim dies.
The BBC’s Joshua Mmali in Uganda says it is not officially condoned but is still practised in several rural areas."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Who are those people?

"Alarming research being conducted at Cornell University is creating quite a stir, and pretty damn understandably: pediatric urologist Dr. Dix Poppas has been cutting the genitals of infants and children, with parental consent, for having clitorises that are too large."

How can you do this to an infant with or wothout consent of the parent(s). It is an infant!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Female genital mutilation in Kurdish Iraq

"Recent studies, including an Iraqi human rights ministry survey conducted last year, show that up to 23% of Iraqi Kurdish girls under 13 have undergone female genital mutilation. However, the report also reveals the figure is sharply higher among girls aged 14 to 18 (45%), suggesting an apparent recent shift in attitudes."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Will the EU help end FGM?

"As a young girl in Guinea, Aissatou Diallo couldn’t save herself. She was 14 and six people were holding her down while a seventh cut her.

Somalian Ifrah Ahmed couldn’t even comprehend what was happening to her. She was only 8 years old and there were people holding her arms and legs. She had no anesthesia of any kind before or after, just raw agony and then the 40 days of isolation imposed on newly circumcised girls. Five years later, inexplicably, they did it to her again. "

Must read: Female Genital Mutilation: Right of Passage or Violation of Basic Human Rights?

Please read the first two chapters of this fantastic article and tell me that this is not mutilation or torture.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How is this possible?

How can this happen in this day and age in the US?

""Troup County sheriff’s officials said the 35-year-old woman was charged with the act along with third-degree cruelty to children following the alleged surgical removal of the infant’s clitoris" according to a report in the LaGrange Daily News. "

Egypt is going in the right direction

It is in the right direction but there is still a lot of work to do.

"A survey by Ms Fouad’s programme found that Egyptian girls are 10 per cent less likely to be circumcised than girls of their parents’ generation. While that certainly counts as progress, it also means that reducing or eliminating genital mutliation will take decades more work, she said. “Female genital mutilation is a very, very old tradition. We have to be patient to see the results through the generations, not immediately,” Ms Fouad said. “This is my message to all activists against FGM: don’t give up. Don’t say I made many efforts and people don’t want us or people aren’t convinced.”"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Report on Zero Tolerance Day in Rotterdam

On February 06, I went to Rotterdam to assist at the Zero Tolerance Day related to FGM. You can read the report here (only in Dutch):

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No protection guarantee

What is the problem? Why is it so difficult?

"The International Women's Day was marked Monday amid complaints that more than half of the 53 African states have failed to guarantee the protection of women against all forms of violence with millions still victims of conflicts."

The situation of women worldwide

To read this article a few days after the International Women's Day hurts.

"Women in rich countries are also vulnerable to pimps, rapists and wife-beaters. Dowry deaths, honour killings and female genital mutilation all happen in the UK. Girls are taken to Harley Street clinics by their Somali-born parents to be mutilated in the name of culture. Pakistani families send girls “home” to marry a cousin they have never met, often before puberty. Women born into Turkish families can be killed by their male relatives for daring to love an unsuitable man."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fatwa against FGM in Mauritania

"In January, in the capital of Mauritania a group of thirty-four Muslim scholars and clerics came together to issue a fatwa against female genital mutilation. In a country where over 70% of girls under 15 undergo genital mutilation/cutting and the CIA factbook reports that 100% of the population is Muslim, the scholars declared partially or wholly excising a woman’s genitals to be an unhealthy practice and therefore against Islam."

"This fatwa is no magic bullet, and is not likely to immediately end female genital mutilation/cutting even within Mauritania. As Reuters warns, a fatwa is only binding to those who follow a particular imam, so the Mauritanian clerics’ decree is not universally binding to Muslims. "

Despite all this is it still a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Commemorating the ban on female genital mutilation in Eritrea

"At the event, Ms. Misghina, 63, recounted the horror she experienced in 1993 when she was circumcizing her first granddaughter. The child bled so much that she turned pale blue. Fortunately, she survived, but it was a close call. "

Monday, February 8, 2010

Stop calling it Female Genital Circumcision

I agree 100%.

About 50 FGM cases per year in The Netherlands

"Naar schatting worden in Nederland zo'n vijftig vrouwen per jaar besneden. Het onderzoek wordt zaterdag in Rotterdam gepresenteerd tijdens de internationale dag tegen vrouwelijke genitale verminking. In het onderzoek werden vrouwen uit Somalië, Soedan, Eritrea, Sierra Leone en Ethiopië bevraagd."

Three million girls at risk

"Manama: Around three million girls and women are at risk for genital mutilation or cutting annually, leaders at two United Nations institutions warned as the world marked International Day against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Education, education and more education is indeed needed.

"Why FGM is unnecessary
We are challenging the so-called traditional rulers and elders to examine FGM. And if they think it to be what will make their women not be promiscuous and their wives to be faithful, what about the counterpart- you as a man? How does it stabilize you as a wonderful husband? Your wife is not promiscuous, what about you? How does she think of you, and how happy is she about you?

Marriage is relational, and not only for men to enjoy. The bottom line is that FGM has nothing to do with whether a girl will be promiscuous or not because we’ve seen cases of girls who were circumcised, but yet are jumping from place to place. How do we then explain this? My hope is that with education, within a short time, FGM will die.’"

I too hope that FGM will die but I'm not so sure about the "short time" ....

This is going on now ...

... and in Europe.

"Between 6,000 and 8,000 women in Austria have been forced to undergo genital mutilation, according to Social Democratic MP Petra Bayr.",_group_warns


Interesting update on the situation. Unfortunately there is still a lot of work to do before FGM will be eradicated.

Tomorrow is the "International Day Against FGM"

"The International Day against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, provides an opportunity for people everywhere to redouble their efforts and end this harmful practice within a generation."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mashua goes to Davos!

"I can't express the joy I felt when I heard that Female Genital Mutilation will be tabled in DAVOS to the world leaders by Julia who asked me for my support to represent us in Davos"

Seven year old saved from FGM

"This is Hanna Abera. She is seven. Her mother and grandmother wanted to slice off part of her genitals. But she was saved by an extraordinarily brave intervention from her aunt after a British charity launched a programme of education on the consequences of female circumcision – which is still widely practised throughout parts of Africa and the Middle East."

The cultural lenses used to dissect female circumcisions

I can't believe what I'm reading. Breasts can be made bigger or smaller but they are still there. Once when they are made bigger, the women can make them smaller. And vice versa. And ... this decision is made by an (supposedly) adult woman. I'm 200 % against FGM but if an adult woman decides to cut parts of her genitalia ... it's her body. In most cases of FGM, adults take decisions for someone else who at the time of the mutilation cannot decide about her own body.

"Therefore, many Nubian women are willingly circumcised because it is one of the many things that will result in delivering more intense pleasure to their men. The article makes the argument that the idea driving the desire for women to get circumcised is no different from women in the United States undergoing cosmetic surgery to become more desirable to their men? It is not uncommon for an American woman to enhance her breast size, get a face lift or tidy her love handles in an attempt to become more desirable."

Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Bill passed in Uganda

"The law should only come in to supplement the campaign, rather than banking on it per se to end female circumcision because it may not succeed. One of the most effective ways to make the practice unattractive is to send all children - both boys and girls to school."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fatwa against FGM in Mauritania

"Thirty four Islamic scholars in Mauritania have signed a fatwa, or religious opinion, banning the practice of female genital mutilation."

"A law professor at Nouakchott University said the collective fatwa would greatly reduce female genital mutilation in Mauritania because it would remove what he called the religious mask that the practice hides behind."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Film about FGM

Unfortunately the spoken language is unknown to most of us and the undertitling is in Spanish.

"Moolaadé is a 2004 African film by Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène. It addresses the subject of female genital cutting, a common practice in a number of African countries, especially nations immediately south of the Sahara desert. The film is set in a village in Burkina Faso, and was filmed in the remote village of Djerrisso, Burkina Faso. The film argues strongly against the practice, depicting a village woman, Colle, who uses moolaadé (magical protection) to protect a group of girls. She is opposed by the villagers who believe in the necessity of circumcision, which they call 'purification'."

Thesis - MUST READ

This is a thesis about FGM and with the title "A Case of the Sabiny in Kapchowra District, Uganda".
"This thesis indicates that perceptions held by those who are in favour of the practice are based on a number of motivating factors, tradition topping the list. There are various efforts that are being employed by the local community as well government to eliminate the tradition in Kapchorwa. As a result of these efforts, there has been a change in the community; however this does not yet mean that the tradition has been eliminated. "
"From my study, it can also be concluded that in the struggle to eliminate FGC, there is need for the three levels in society to work together. Understanding the justification for the continuation of the tradition, formulating initiatives with these justifications in mind, and involvement of the government are all prudent efforts for change. The one thing that can unite all the three levels is the law."

FGM and marriage

"I am convinced that community dialogue is one of the most effective ways to put an end to harmful traditional practices like FGM. Fathers want their daughters to marry, so they have to agree together that FGM is not a condition, to the contrary, it makes mariages impossible and unhappy."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

FGM and culture

"Every contributor to this week’s question agrees that culture is the primary or only reason why female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C/C) is practiced."

I was surprised to read this:"One participant from Switzerland asserted that there is another way to approach FGM/C as a problem where it is difficult to change behaviors. We do not need to do away with FGM/C. Instead, actors could provide medical supplies for a safe FGM/C/C."

Please vote.

I have a dream ... Wouldn't it be nice to end female genital mutilation, within our lifetimes?

If you agree with me, then please help Julia Lalla-Maharajh, one of five finalists in "YouTube Davos" shortlist to work with world leaders in 2010 to end FGM.

Go to , click on "Vote" then select "End FGM now" and click on the green thumbs up icon.

How is this possible?

Animals are not treated this way but yet we do it to women!