In today session, we discuss an a important issue of Female Genital Mutilation which is brought up by our Gender and equality group. To define it, it’s basically the practice, traditional in some cultures, involves partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for non-medical reasons.
We watched this video and we discussed about the issue in small groups. We talked about how women should have a choice on what they should do with their body. However on the other hand, we also looked at the influence of their culture and religion. We also watched this video to look at other people’s opinions.
Some problem women/girls face:
- pressure from the family because it is part of their culture.
- They don’t have freedom to choose because they have no power and lower status
We also discussed about why did they come to a point that they agree with FGM and some of the answers that we come up with are the beliefs that:
- It may prevent teenage pregnancies
- In some culture, it’s called maturity when you get married and have completed it.
- In some religion (what they believe) is meant cleanliness and purity.
- 200 million girls have been subjected to FGM, internationally
- Most girls cut between infancy and the age of 15
- Most common in Africa (Ethiopia, 27 million) and Somalia, 98% prevalence) and Middle East
- In Guinea, Sierra leone and Chad, 20% more men think that FGM should stop
- 500,000 in US have undergone or were at risk of FGM.
However, that does leave us on what we are doing to advocate on this kind of issues. In DARAJA we empower women to exercise their rights and help them to get a better education and other issues. In most of AFRICAN countries, IN KENYA for example, the women or girls usually have lower status in the community, so we raise awareness on the issues and help to provide a good quality education which may motivates and help them to make big decision about their life and also encourage them to don’t look back on the problems they are going through and to look forward on their life in the future.
To conclude, if we discussed this kind of important issues and understand their culture and religion, it will really help us approach a correct path in raising awareness