Home English News Cutting girls in hospital is ‘still FGM, still wrong’

Cutting girls in hospital is ‘still FGM, still wrong’

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An anti-FGM crusader has criticised moves seeking to medicalise the outlawed cut.
Sadia Hussein said it makes no difference to have the practice carried out by medical professionals as it can still result in fatalities.
She condemned a doctor who filed a case in court to ‘uphold the culture’. She pleaded for its withdrawal.
“The doctor seeking to have FGM medicalised has no idea what it feels like to be cut or what women have to endure. It doesn’t matter where it is done. FGM, whether under a tree or in a hospital, with a team of doctors, will remain FGM,” she said.Hussein described Female Genital Mutilation as a retrogressive culture that dehumanises girls. She made the remarks during the first anti-FGM national conference at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development last week.
She told a congregation of young girls and women leaders to stand together in fighting against FGM. Any suggestions to medicalise it as it perpetuates and violates medical ethics should be shot down, Hussein said.
The woman from Tana River county was cut at the age of 10. The rite of passage was conducted by 10 elderly women who pinned her down.
At the time, she did not know FGM was wrong. “All the while I thought it was something to be proud of. The problem began when I got married,” she said.
Her honeymoon, she explained, was traumatising as she never got to enjoy the “beauty that comes with marriage”. When she got pregnant, she had to go back to the circumcisers to re-open the sealed area.
“When I was giving birth at home, the women asked themselves how the baby would come out because I was completely damaged. I used to think giving birth and getting married were things to be joyful about, but all I wanted was to die,” she said.
Hussein, now an anti-FGM crusader, helps girls who have gone through the cut or are at risk of being cut. Through Dayaa Women’s Group, she educates the community and speaks to the circumcisers on the dangers of FGM.
Kenya has been ranked third among countries with the most cases of medicalisation of Female Genital Mutilation.
A study by Unicef and the Africa Coordinating Centre for the Abandonment of FGM places Egypt first with a rate of 75 per cent. Sudan comes second with 50 per cent and Kenya third with 40 per cent.