Genital mutilation: The barbaric assault on a woman’s basic human rights

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A college essay about a barbaric ritual

Submitted: July 09, 2017

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Submitted: July 09, 2017

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Genital mutilation: The barbaric assault on a woman’s basic human rights

By the 1 and only

Female Genital Mutilation is a culture diffused practice that began two thousand years ago in Africa. Over the years female mutilation has spread throughout the Middle East and parts of Indonesia. It is a rite of passage from child or teen hood to womanhood. The consequences of this procedure which isn’t done with sterile instruments may result in hemorrhaging, severe pain, a detriment to a woman’s well being, and even death. “In the Platform of the Fourth World conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, Female Genital Mutilation was cited as a threat to a woman’s reproductive system functions. Due to a violation of their human rights” The immediate hazards of female circumcision are septicemia (known as blood poisoning), severe psychological trauma, and pain and advanced swelling. This procedure is routinely done to reinforce a woman’s virginity before marriage. “Although circumcision may be performed during infancy, adolescence, or even during a woman’s first pregnancy, the procedure is usually carried out on girls between the age’s of 4 and 12.” 

There are 3 types of procedures: “Clitoridectomy, Excision, and Infibulation which is categorized as the most severe version. Infibulation occurs when prior to the excision, the Clitoris, Labia Minora, and Majora are removed to create new surfaces.” Excision is related to the Clitoridectomy due to the partial and or total removal of the Labia Minora. Type 1 involves sewing together the remaining Labia Minora epidermis, which store the sweat glands. As a result of the stitching, urinary bacteria cyst tissue formation as cited before septicemia and more hemorrhaging occur. Infibulation develops due to the urethra being stitched closed. Obstructed or altered labor may result. In cultures or traditions like Africa and Asia where Infibulation is condoned, a woman’s scar is split and resewn multiple times until she can no longer reproduce. The amputation of delicate tissue including the clitoris diminishes sexual pleasure. For these women intercourse with their spouse is 99% painful, because of the tiny vaginal canal. Excessive bleeding may occur or the scar has to be loosened for penetration, which is still painful.

266 out of 300 polygynous, and 60 out of 200 Sudanese men remarried, simply because of lack of penetration during intercourse. After each child is born the vaginal canal loses its elasticity. “A 12 year old Egyptian girl, Badour Shakir, died in June 2007 during or soon after a circumcision, because of an overdose of anesthesia. The girl’s mother, Zeniab Abdel Ghani paid 5 British Lbs (or $9) to an illegal doctor and Clinic, in the southern town of Maghagh for the operation. The doctor tried to give her $3,000 to withdraw a lawsuit but the mother refused”

A girl’s virginity is considered integral for her family’s ability to arrange her marriage, and earn family honor. The parents view Infibulation as insurance that their daughter remains “pure”. The grooms’ family may have the right to strip search before the ceremony (marriage) for clarification. Girls have very miniscule choices, due to lack of education and obscene influences on tradition. Many accept mutilation as a requirement for life.

There are cultural and religious aspects for the practice of mutilation. Islamic and Christian faiths are partakers of mutilation. Greeks from 163b.c. states that girls living in Egypt put through circumcision are vastly accepted, and have originated from Egyptian and Nile Pharaoh eras. Cleanliness is deemed essential in a vast majority of African tribes. Other tribes believe that Female Genital Mutilation enriches beauty. It is also believed that circumcised women provide a better sex drive for their men. Intercourse pleasure for the man’s wife triggers nerve ending stimulation, internally and externally near the vaginal area.

It is well perceived for clitoral arroousement to play a big factor for achieving orgasms. Two women, one a patient and the other a Director of Nursing, expressed their experiences of circumcision as if it was being conducted at that moment. “I feel as if I am trembling in my belly. It feels like electric shock going around my body- very sweet and pleasurable. When it finishes I feel as if I want to faint.” “I feel as if I had a shot of morphine. My body vibrates all over. Then I feel as shocked as if I cannot move. At the end I relax all over”.

Approximately one third of women who were interviewed commented that they’ve experienced both internal and external symptoms. Others experienced one of the symptoms not both.

The second part of my secondary document stems from an autobiography of a victim who endured mutilation in her early childhood. Waris Dirie, the Narrorator, tells her experience of mutilation at five years old as an adult.Waris lives in Vienna spending time with her old friends. One evening while flying home, a man Waris was unfamiliar with approached her. Mariame was fascinated with Dirie because of her bravery. Quickly he changed the subject and talked about a family in Africa who got their daughter circumcised in a hotel room. Her family paid an elderly woman to operate such an obscene form of torture. Minutes into the procedure the scalpel slit her vagina and caused her to almost hemorrhage to death. A few days later Ms. Dirie, whose occupation is a teacher begins to read her students projects describing their views of female circumcision. In one essay the writer states that she witnessed someone perform with a rusty, bloody, dried razor blade, or fragments of dirty glass. Since most of the countries don’t have modern technology, the threat of infections, viruses, and diseases is always suspect.  Some of the women, almost all of them have no medical training. Waris spent two years in Somalia and has been in contact with an estimated twenty thousand Somali’s. There are no exact calculations for the amount of women at risk. Doctors, Midwives, and none medically trained personnel are aware it is against the law, but no one stops these practices

Female circumcision was outcast in England back in ’85 when the Female Circumcision Act came into the picture. Gynecologist Sarah Creighton who works at African Women’s Clinic, reconstructs women who have been infibulated. This reconstructive operation can be completed in a timely fashion in just ten minutes. The psychological aftermath is the major prolonged dilemma though. Police have been informed that mutilation is a form of child abuse. The parents can be held accountable if their daughter lives in France and is sent back to Africa to get circumcised. The cases were brought to court, and the parents claim the circumcision was per formed without their consent, and the grandmother conveniently dies before interrogation. A young man named Baffing who resembles an African Pop star, has devoted his music to help promote rights and human liberty.  When he first tried to record his first album, the producers discouraged the song he wrote and told him to terminate the track. Radio stations wouldn’t give him publicity.

Girls have been examined in grade school. If the female student is uncircumcised, she is reported to authorities immediately.

  Some of the women Dirie has interviewed tell her that their whole family is circumcised. It has evolved into a family tradition operation, in which Linda wishes to continue.  “If the clitoris has been removed it is not possible to replace it. What is gone is gone. But often the clitoris can be found under the bridge of scar tissue and we can attempt to expose it again.” “Many women are proud of being circumcised as they feel it makes them clean and they do not have any obvious outward genital characteristics, only a smooth skin barrier.”  “Every 17 seconds someone in the world is mutilated.

 Each year Sabine Miller treats on average one hundred women who need treatment after their circumcisions are seventeen through fifty. Waris had a handful of women in her corner ready to surrender to family pressure. She has devised a plan for someone to come to the house, a cutter woman, kill a chicken, spread the blood and say the procedure is finished to her family

The health service located in Germany has not adjusted to the assistance women needs who have been victimized by mutilation. Circumcised women are confronted with foul attitudes and degrading attention in hospitals. In Berlin there’s only one specialist for almost three thousand mutilation victims. Sabrina Muller is a gynecologist working in a family clinic. She issues crucial advice which is free. Ten years earlier she issued her very first case. It was a married woman whose husband was on a business trip in Germany. He had her reinfibulated so that she wouldn’t commit adultery.  Days later the man’s wife came to see Waris for a procedure, so that the couple could have more children.

Theresa Okafor, a mother of an African Uncircumcised daughter calls a doctor. She is Nigerian. Her daughter is seventeen. The doctor hesitates then puts her on hold to check for an appointment date. A few minutes later the doctor gives her a six p.m. appointment the next day. He charges $200. When the woman and her daughter arrive, the doctor thought she had a son, and he was prepared to perform a male circumcision. As soon as he glances at the mother and her daughter, he threatens to notify the authorities of the illegal operation requested. Small talk is exchanged and the woman sets out to find another physician. Again she is questioned and revoked by the physician and receptionist.  There are doctors favoring reinfibulation upon request of the husband.

Male or female doctors are in the best position to handle a woman’s post circumcision complications. They’ve got the credentials to correct future mutilations directly. By notifying the authorities children in the victims’ families aren’t in harms way. While Waris was in the process of confronting European doctors, she stumbled upon “the designer vagina”. Internet forums in which women speak about their first hand feelings, all the victims suffered from pain and swelling. Stitches bursting, sexual swelling, and not being able to sit for a few days occur.

The final segment of my secondary source focuses on putting an end Female Mutilation. After a twelve year old girl passes Egypt banned the practice. In 1996, the Central African president signed and distributed an ordinance forbidding the practice throughout his country. Any violation results in imprisonment and a 100,000 fine. The entire Middle East and parts of Africa have vetoed Genital Mutilation. Thanks to citizens and government officials, millions of lives are saved.

 

A secondary source by Quentin Armstrong

 


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