I read in the Tanzania's Citizen newspaper recently, that a 4 month year old baby bled to death after her parents had allowed a sangoma or witchdoctor to mutilate her genitals as a way of curing diarrhea. Her parents believed that mutilating her genital would cure the disease she was suffering from traditionally known, as ‘Lawalawa.’I was surprised and shocked at the lack of knowledge our society still has on such issues as these and how a lot of effort still needs to be made to educate people on the risks that come with using "traditional" forms of medicine and curing. Something has to be done to save the lives of girl children being mutilated because of traditional and cultural beliefs and also as a way of curing diseases. Female Genital Mutilation is a centuries-old practice used to control women's sexuality in some religions, although both Muslim and Christian leaders have spoken out against it. The procedure involves the removal of the clitoris and sometimes also other genital parts, usually in childhood or early adolescence. It can lead to infection, painful sexual intercourse, complications in childbirth, and eliminates any pleasure for women during sex. According to Amnesty International, FGM is commonplace in 28 countries in Africa as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and among certain ethnic groups in South America,
Coincidentally enough, I also read in this same week that the UN Committee has called for a global ban of girl mutilation. What does this exactly mean? It calls on the UN's 193 member states to condemn the practice and
launch educational campaigns for girls and boys, women and men, to
eliminate it. It also urges all countries to enact and enforce
legislation to prohibit FGM, to protect women and girls "from this form
of violence" and to end impunity for violators.
Ultimately, this information has to get to those who dont get any access to the internet, here I am speaking of people in the rural areas. Lets hope all efforts will end the dogma around FGM.