Nigeria Bans Female Genital Mutilation : Miles to Travel?

Purity is judged by heart and not by practicing any grimy ritual.

Such heinous rituals hold no point of faith; it only leaves you in unhealthy circumstances. This is proved by the ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who passed a ban on religiously practiced ritual of Female Genital Mutilation on 5th May. However, it got enacted by his successor Muhammadu Buhari on the 29th May in the country.


Image Source: thisisafrica.me

As many as 140 million women around the world are mutilated; over 101 million of them live in Africa. Nigeria created a history by outlawing female genital mutilation (FGM) which dared to cut/mutilate all or some part of female external genitalia. It’s like a raindrop in the water deprived land, as this menacing ritual has its foothold in as many as 27 African countries and some parts of Yemen and Iraqi Kurdistan, and found elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East. It’s, take a bow move by the outgoing politicians who are far better than the few who only give it a religious angle.

It is unbelievable that most girls are mutilated before they even turn five! I wonder how cutting the female external reproductive organ helps the community to keep their women aloof from the sexual desires. Forget about ‘why’, the question here is, aren’t we aware that the world is facing higher number of crimes enacted by men with regards to sexuality and NOT WOMEN!

FGM is carried out in order to keep their honor intact, attempts to control women’s sexuality and to proclaim purity, modesty and aesthetics. It was initiated by women who felt they would be dishonored in the community, if they didn’t get their daughters and granddaughters mutilated. Wonder these women forgot that, Women are one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet and this atrocious act cannot be related with the appreciation of the beauty. This act of female mutilation has given women a lifetime of complications. Depending on the degree of the mutilation type it leads to several recurrent infections, chronic pain, cysts, an inability to get pregnant, complications during childbirth and even fatal bleeding.

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Image Source: circumstitions.com

With criminalizing this ritual, which falls under the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, a hope has arisen that it would see an end in many other countries too. ‘Now’ is the best time to share knowledge to women across the world that this ritual is nothing more than just a myth. One of the myths around FGM makes people believe that the cut will enhance a woman’s fertility and promote child survival. Instead of any advantage or medical reason, this act is proving to be lethal. Another myth claims that cutting a girl will cure or prevent sexually transmitted diseases. It is believed that FGM will keep a woman from having sex before marriage and that it increases a man’s pleasure. It is sad to know society is much worried about Men’s’ pleasure than women in pain!

In fact, it is even practiced in India. However, it is an open secret. In India it is widely followed by the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sect of the Shia-Muslims. Locally termed as ‘Khatna’, this practice has no medical justification. Some of the reasons to perform the cultural ritual is same as in the other countries. There are several campaigns and protests carried out to ban this unavailing ritual. However, the weight of religious beliefs is heavier than the screams of little girls and the pain they lug till the end.

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Image Source: iitaly.org

Though not much popular, there are some activist who has courage to raise their voice. One such is Tasleem! She has launched a campaign on Facebook and is making wholehearted efforts to collect signatures for a petition to the Bohra High Priest, His Holiness, Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin asking for a ban on this ritual. The activist has urged the people to come forward and save girls from this gruesome crime by signing the petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/hh-dr-syedna-ban-female-circumcision-ladkiyon-par-khatna-2

She can also be contacted here: stopcruelfgm@gmail.com.

A little ray of light in Nigeria cannot bring happiness in other countries until people at mass make a move, while the leaders of the country think logic.

Image Source: icampusng.com

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