"Vagina the female genitalia with the clitoris wonderfully placed to beauty it by God should not be mutilated or violently touched in any form. It is to be pampered and loved”.
Female Genital Mutilation or cutting (FGM) is a process of cutting off some part or major part of the clitoris of women and girls with unsterilized sharp objects and sometimes very blunt objects. it is the excision of female genitals for aesthetic and cultural reasons which has been an old time practice. Some women and girls have died in the process of performing this ritual and rites. Unsterilized objects are injuries and dangerous to health. One object is used for more than 100 girls or more. Blood are exchange and mixed up in the process. Girls’ destinies are cut short or changed for no other reason than culture. Reproductive processes are impaired in the process and human rights of these girls violated by disfiguring them physically (body harm) and their well-being which is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and ability to manage stress is not in any way considered.
This barbaric custom and culture has kept so many girls out of school in some countries because it is usually carried out at the ages of 5 & 8 years and one that attempts to control women’s sexuality and ensure premarital virginity. When done, it takes upwards of one to two months for the girls to heal properly and walk normally. Most times, having missed school for that period of time will make them feel that it is no longer necessary to go back.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, reflecting deep rooted inequality between the sexes. Since FGM is almost always carried out on minors, it is also a violation of the rights of children. FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non medical reasons
Education of women and girls are very important for constant development of families and communities as such it is one of the major thematic points of the Sustainable Development Goal(SDG). Government of so many countries have taking serious measures to eradicate this societal ill which has turn into a social norm but some communities are yet to give it up. We are working closely with different women forums in different communities in Nigeria to put a serious stop to this evil. Some women and men spoken to still felt that this custom should not stop even when it has been explained to them that it has no health or social value to women instead it has significant health and sexual impairment and social problems.
Today, more than 200 million girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), and each year, over 3 million girls between infancy and age 15 are estimated to be at risk and more than 101 million girls aged 10 years and older are living with the effects of FGM.
Though considered a global health problem by most intergovernmental organizations, FGM is most common in the western, eastern, and north eastern regions of Africa and Yemen. Traditionally performed on young girls between infancy and adolescence, it can cause both immediate and long-term health complications, including severe pain, excessive bleeding, scar tissue and keloid, shock, and even death.
FGM differs from most forms of violence against girls and women in that women are not only the victims but also involved in perpetration. A girl’s female relatives are normally responsible for arranging FGM, which, in turn, is usually performed by traditional female excisers. FGM is also increasingly being done by male and female health-care providers. This feature of FGM illustrates how both women and men can be complicit in reinforcing gender norms and practices that support violence against women.
We at OLPHI an NGO joins the global world to condemn the continuous hold of our people to this tradition that does not add value to the well-being of women and girls, a culture that must be abolished and therefore advocate to all people of good will to support us in this campaign against this age long tradition.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative