Perspective: Female Genital Mutilation

Female Mutilation - Justin Trudeau with African PM

Perspective: I found the flipboard a round up of various articles to be interesting and informative. The topics covered were from female mutilation (FGM) to environmental issues. Quite a wide spectrum indeed.

Female Genital Mutilation

It is for me the story dealing with genital mutilation that has provoked my sensibilities the most, as it has always been a topic I have wanted to explore in an in-depth way. I have never written about this strange and very intrusive if not as some of us Westerners regard as a primitive practice. Customs and cultures are things we should respect and revere but this one (female genital mutilation), for me, takes the cake.


This practice which appears to be very common in Africa if not widespread in my perspective, is a serious violation of one’s privacy if not person hood.

Africans may argue that male circumcision is no different and violates a man’s/boy’s privacy and person hood also.


It should be noted that medical research suggests that those circumcised are less at risk to contracting sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS.


The Bible speaks about the circumcised and the uncircumcised. So circumcision has biblical roots.

Canadian Parliament

We are calling on the Canadian Government to re examine its position on female genital mutilation. Britain and other countries have frowned on this primitive if not unhygienic practice which may have even led to deaths. This practice which is legal in many, mainly African countries like Liberia, and is a serious violation of a victim’s human rights and we dare say … right to choice.

Are these “operations” done under anesthetic conditions and supervised by certified medical personnel? We have heard otherwise … anecdotal accounts of botched rudimentary unhygienic practices and victims contracting infections/ germs, even bleeding to death in some instances.

Lost Virginity

How many of these survivors lost their prized possession of their virginity as a result of this custom/practice? These maidens have been robbed of their innocence and their husbands to be denied that precious jewel of manhood to have experienced for himself taking his bride’s virginity.

Have women been left infertile as a result of FGM?

Sande/Vaginal Police

In Liberia there is female police type enforcer squad called Sande. It is distressing to further learn that “Journalists who broach the topic there regularly get death threats and risk forceful initiation by Sande, the women’s secret society that enforces FGM. It is estimated that some 60 percent of Liberia’s women are survivors of FGM.”

We also understand Canada has some 80, 000 such victims/survivors living in there country.

Is the Liberian president, a female, a survivor of female genital mutilation?

If yes, this may explain why she has not moved to outlaw such an undignified and low down practice.


It it that she fears cheap popularity and its attendant backlash? Politicians need votes to stay in power. We should not underestimate the power of Tribal Chiefs, Bush doctors and Elders in those societies.


Public education, one and one consultations and a serious legislative approach needs to be used to combat the problem of FGM. International donor entities will help to eradicate the scourge of FGM.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

source: https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/flip.it%2FtkAJLc-dec-3-female-genital-mutilation-plus-ot/f-a8b693dfac%2Ftheglobeandmail.com

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